It’s been ten years since Chris Brown infamously assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna on their way home from a party. Beaten in the back of a car, Rihanna’s injuries were so severe that she had to cancel her Grammys appearance after being hospitalized. Most people were quick to condemn Brown, who eventually pleaded guilty to felony assault as part of a probation deal. Still, as evidenced by his continued career, others maintained their support of the “Run It!” singer — and that apparently included Eminem.
Recently, an unreleased Eminem verse from the 2011 B.o.B. song “Things Get Worse” was leaked on Reddit. The bars reveal that, at least at the time, the notable rapper/recent political rabble-rouser approved of Brown’s abusive behavior towards women. He said, “Let me give my two cents, of course I support Chris Brown/ I’d beat a bitch down, too, if she gave my dick an itch now.”
To his credit, the line was ultimately cut from the track. Then again, the lyrics that actually made it into the song are hardly bastions of feminism. In the official version, Em describes murdering Dakota Fanning; putting “Natasha Bedingfield in a washer;” and aims lewd or threatening lyrics at Jessica Simpson, Angelina Jolie, Carmen Electra, and his own mother. Frankly, like many tacks in Em’s catalog, the whole song hasn’t aged well.
Adding to the cringe of it all, “Things Get Worse” actually dropped right at the height of Eminem’s collaborative history with Rihanna. The pair worked together on the 2010 dual-anthems “Love the Way You Lie” and “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)”. Em joined RiRi again on 2012’s “Numb”, and she returned the favor for 2013’s “The Monster”. Something tells us those tracks never would have come together had the first draft of “Things Get Worse” made it to print.
Update: In a statement given to XXL, Dennis Dennehy, a spokesperson for Eminem, addressed the lyrics. “After Eminem recorded it, he scrapped it, and rewrote it. Obviously he and Rihanna have a great relationship,” he said.
Unfortunately, Eminem still has a habit of using distasteful language, like when he used a homophobic slur to attack Tyler, the Creator on the Kamikaze track “Fall”. Tyler seemed largely unbothered by the shot, though he did just call out the Detroit MC for picking “the worst beats ever.”
When he’s not harassing women or LGBTQ performers, Eminem does have the redeeming quality of attacking truly awful men. His BET cypher about Trump was graphic enough to get him in trouble with the Secret Service, though he couldn’t get through even that song without lyrically murdering Ivanka.