Jonathan Higbee's picture

Eminem Defends "Faggot": I Want To Feel Free To Say What I Want To Say

If you've read headlines concerning Eminem the past month, we wouldn't blame you for feeling like you've discovered a secret gay time portal back to the early 2000s. Yet again, one of the most successful mainstream rappers in the world is under fire for his wanton use of "faggot" in lyrics appearing on his new album (specifically "Rap God"). The outrage is so pervasive this time that it even claimed collateral damage in the form of Sia, the popular and talented queer artist who collaborates on one of Eminem's new track, over the weekend

In his upcoming cover story interview for Rolling Stone, Eminem reveals why he continues to use the anti-gay slur alongside heinous and violent homophobic language despite years of protest from the LGBT community. Apparently, it all boils down to his unwillingness to evolve beyond an era when "faggot" was more widespread in hip hop. 

He explains:

I don't know how to say this without saying it how I've said it a million times. But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin' or whatever, I never really equated those words [to actually mean 'homosexual']...It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or a--hole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then. It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people. And, not saying it's wrong or it's right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much s--t that's tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself.

...

the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I'm glad we live in a time where it's really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves. And I don't know how else to say this, I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke.

As a reminder, here are Em's new "Rap God" lyrics that he says help him feel nostalgic and don't have anything to do with gays, but instead refer to bitches or assholes:

"Break a motherfucker's table over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half." 

"Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy."

Even if Em had defended these harmful, unmistakable anti-gay lyrics by throwing his retired alternate persona, Slim Shady, under the bus with an "it's just satire" excuse, it would do nothing to redeem the infraction. The way that the widely heard rapper goes out of his way to bash the gay community, particularly young gay boys, is so overt in the new album that any explanation of satire will be lost on vulnerable children as well as those listeners who'll treat this as gospel on their road to becoming bullies. 

Does Eminem's defense make you feel any better?

Comments

He looks sooo damned good, he can call me anything he want's!

Whip me babey!!

Just don't support him when he's back in the gutter broke and alone then maybe he will have time to reflect. DONT BUY HIS STUFF

He can say whatever he wants to say, we all can.  It's sad that he WANTS to say what he is saying!!  For that, I feel sorry for him, and hope someday he will grow up into a man with a soul, and a conscience.  I am not gay, but I am allied with all people being discriminated against!  I have hope for tomorrow, because this next generation of children with openly gay parents whose love knows no boundaries will be the smarter generation, and hopefully all the ignorant people of the world will no longer try to find a way to make themselves feel "above," or "better" than anyone else, and will realize there is only one race...the human race, and we are ALL in this together!

Bottom line, when ever people say gays should be straight or whatever. That Person is not going to change to please a hateful community . So why should Eminem have to change the way he's been since the start of his career, this is a community wanting him to change his music and It's not going to happen.
This is the hateful heterosexuals against the Homosexuals situation all over again. There's no difference here. Society is never going to be perfect for one person and music is never going to be clean enough for another.
How about this, don't listen to the music
and let people live their lives. Simple right but I guess some people just like to complain about the littlest things, or nothing at all.

Your comment is just too idiotic to contemplate!

He has changed.  He used the N-word in his music before he became famous.  He was called out on it and confronted after he became famous, and used the excuse that he was an "angry, stupid kid."  But the point is he stopped using that word.  

I have never like rap.  To me, it's disrespectful to everyone.  An idea:  Don't buy it.  I don't waste my money on it.  Neither should anyone here.  End of Discussion!

That's like saying, 'if you don't like the swastika someone painted on a tombstone, then don't look at it."  

First of all y'all need to calm the Hell down with he's feeding the hate and he doesn't care. You read what he said, how much more proof do you want that he's now against the LGBT community. As far as I know he's the first rapper I heard to actually say that that word isn't connected to the LGBT community in any way and there lot of rappers out there. My question is why i he the only one being targeted. Even Dr.Dre used this word in their collaboration "I Need A Doctor" to describe how he was betrayed by his fellow rappers.

P.S. Hell is not the word I wanted to use but I'm keeping it clean. But thetempo you guys are raising this THIS to is ridiculous. One of the only rappers that doesn't degrade women and your attacking him. Give yourselves a hand .

"Doesn't degrade women" - seriously?  Do a Google search on "Eminem misogyny."  Go ahead, try it....

How about you keep your smart comments to your self and you go search it because your response has nothing to do with the main topic and your just being bias. So what your saying is, he degrades his own daughter along other women.

By the way, you should calm down. 

I see.  Men with daughters can't be misogynistic.  Thanks.  I didn't know that. 

You still didn't address the main topic. HE IS NOT CHANGING FOR ANYONE.

You must have twisted the lyrics and my words around. Most men who CARE ABOUT THEIR DAUGHTERS AREN'T. I did not say " Men with daughters can't be misogynistic." You did. I'm glad you learned how to twist words.

I don't twist words; I just try to interpret them, but your writing makes that difficult.  

 It seems he hasn't used the N-word in 20 years, and when confronted about his past use of it, he acknowledged that it was wrong. So he's full of shit when he says he wants to be free to say what he wants to say, because apparently he is able to edit himself.

http://www.complex.com/.../eminem

Will: Of course he is free to use the lyrics he wants. And we're free to react the way that we want. I'm not sure why you think this is an earth-shattering observation to make.

Nobody is suggesting that he be arrested, or that he be forceably censored. But the freedom to say what you want doesn't mean the freedom from dealing with the consequences when people react.

For the record: I'm gay, and I'm a huge fan of Eminem. I don't like these lyrics. I don't think they are clever or smart, the way that many of his lyrics are.

Personally, part of the reason I'm upset by Eminem's use of this slur is that it's not clever. It's not cutting edge. It's not witty.  

Dear Eminem: Your lyrics used to be clever. Now you're relying on decade old cliches? What happened, bro?

Don't fall for this crap. He is merely hiding behind freedom of speech as a way to broadcast his hatred towards the LGBT community. From where I sit if you're buying his albums you're literally feeding that hate. Perhaps he cannot be responsible for the actions of others. The sad thing is that he isn't even true to himself or else he'd accept responsibility for the hate he's spreading. Intellectual dishonesty at its best. (If you can even call it that) Just call a thing a thing!!

He is free to the lyrics he wants. He has to deal with the consequences of those words, but he has freedom of speech. What difference is this versus other rappers who talk about using women for sex and abuse them and drugs and drinking?  

Im gay and I'm a huge fan of Eminem. I always will be. I also use the word faggot in the same sense he says. The word is only meaning what the individual wants it to mean. With a world full of victims and people wanting to be a victim we always see this word as a bad term for gay people. They even have this as a focus point in an episode of South Park. Where they call a biker gang fags and then they take the whole history of the word and actually make a very valid point. 

We need to stop trying to single ourselves out and finding every little thing like this. Seriously. 

Sorry but most of us don't take our life lessons or anything meaningful lessons from South Park. As we shouldn't take our lessons from a rap artist such as Em. He's obviously not going to stop usin it and doesn't care what we as society think of him hating on gays. If your offended by it don't listen or buy his shit. Simple as that. I don't like rappers/RB people making up words and slang for sexual activity just to get it on the radio. So I don't listen To it. No need to go around spending all my energy trying to figure out if they truly respect women 

Please explain to me like I'm a 2-year old why you cannot say the N word, but the word "faggot" is A-OK to say.
 

He doesn't get it.  These lyrics are violent and not okay.

Add new comment