Eminem has defended the lyrical content of his newest album Music to be Murdered By, saying the record is “not made for the squeamish.”
The US rapper came under fire for the song Unaccommodating, which references the terror attack that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017.
“I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game, like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” Eminem raps on the song.
In a statement released on social media, Eminem said “certain sections” of the album are “designed to shock the conscience.”
He wrote: “Gentle Listener: In today’s wonderful world murder has become so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I thought why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats? So before you jump the gun, please allow me to explain.
“This album was not made for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you.
“Certain selections have been designed to shock the conscience, which may cause positive action. Unfortunately, darkness has truly fallen upon us.”
The rapper said the word “murder” on his album “isn’t always literal, nor pleasant.
“These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer,” he continued. “For the victims of this album, may you rest peacefully. For the rest of you, please listen more closely next time. Goodnight!
“With deepest sympathy, Eminem.”
The 47-year-old rapper was heavily criticised for the attack reference, with Manchester indie band The Courteneers likening Eminem to “an old comedian who can’t get on the telly anymore.”
Frontman Liam Fray told the BBC: “I felt sorry for him. He’s trying to be as outrageous as possible because he’s running out of ideas, that’s what it is.
“It’s nothing else [but] shock value. You have to shock to be good – that’s nonsense.”
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham also criticised Eminem for the “unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful” lyrics.
Eminem previously referenced the Manchester attack in his 2018 Kick Off freestyle, in which he rapped: “Suicide bomber that’s seeing / Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening / And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving / Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region/I’m not gonna finish that, for obvious reasons”.
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