11/04/2013 01:09 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Eminem: 'Rap God' Isn't Homophobic

The following article is provided by Rolling Stone.

By Brian Hiatt

In the years since the initial uproar over the use of anti-gay slurs on his first two albums, Eminem has performed with and befriended Elton John, endorsed gay marriage and repeatedly told interviewers that he doesn't actually have any problem with gay people. But he continues to sprinkle his lyrics with language that's not hard to construe as homophobic. In this excerpt from his upcoming Rolling Stone cover story, due November 22nd, Eminem defends his much-criticized use of slurs in the single "Rap God."

LINK: Eminem Q&A Exclusive: The Making of 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2'

You've made it clear again and again that you don't actually have a problem with gay people. So why, in 2013, use "faggot" on that song? Why use "gay-looking" as an insult?

LINK: Rolling Stone's List of the 100 Greatest Artists: Eminem

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 . . .

LINK: See Where the Slim Shady LP Falls on RS' List of the Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

To actually mean "homosexual"?

LINK: Read Rolling Stone's Review of 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2'

Yeah. It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. 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 shit that's tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But 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.

LINK: Eminem's 2011 RS Cover Story: The Road Back from Hell

I kind of thought you were doing it because when you're rapping as Slim Shady, part of your mission is to annoy people.

Well, look, I've been doing this shit for, what, 14 years now? And I think people know my personal stance on things and the personas that I create in my music. And if someone doesn't understand that by now, I don't think there's anything I can do to change their mind about it.



Hip Hop And Homosexuality