Eminem Says His Homophobic Tyler, The Creator Diss Went Too Far (Video)
So far, the first two parts of Sway Calloway’s Kamikaze interview with Eminem has provided insight into his now high-profile beefs with MGK and Joe Budden. The rare public conversation also unpacks his more recent musical output, which the Detroit native admits hasn’t been as on point as work from earlier on in his career. Now, for part three of Shady’s interview series, Em discussed Dr. Dre’s involvement in his recently released tenth solo studio album Kamikaze. He also addresses the root of his problems with Tyler, The Creator—another Rap peer that Marshall Mathers calls out by name.
However, when Eminem called out Tyler, he reverted to a tactic early in his career—he used a homophobic slur on video single, “Fall”: “Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a f*ggot, b*tch / It’s not just ’cause you lack attention / It’s ’cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sac-religious.”
Eminem addresses the slur. “I realize now and I realized when I said it, but I wasn’t, like, in the mind frame — I was angry when I said the sh*t about Tyler … every time I saw this kid, always so cool… but, I’m sitting back like, man, at what point do I have to say something just to defend myself? And I think that the word that I called him on the album was, on that song, was one of the things where I felt like this might be too far.” “The homophobic slur?” Sway asked. “Yeah,” Eminem continued. “In my quest to hurt him, I realized that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it and, at the time, I was so mad … but in the midst of everything else that was going on in this album, the things that it took to pull this album together and all that kind of sh*t, it was one of the things that I kept going back to going, ‘I don’t feel right with this.’”
Em explains that on Kamikaze, the word is spun back. However, it still is heard—and its intent is felt. Throughout his career, Eminem has a tricky relationship with the other f-word. In 2013, he told Rolling Stone magazine his logic in using it in “Rap God.” “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…It was more like calling someone a b*tch or a punk or assh*le. 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 sh*t 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.” Early in his career, Eminem faced backlash from activists (including Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)) for his misogyny and homophobia. Notably, one of Em’s biggest supporters was the openly-gay Elton John. The pair performed “Stan” together at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
At 9:35 in the interview, Eminem detailed where things went off the rail with him Tyler, The Creator, leading to the diss—which also popped a shot at Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt. According to Em, it was disparaging comments made by Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt about his music and being that drove the wedge between them. “I really did like him and I thought their movement was really cool too. We didn’t make music [together], but I just felt there was a mutual respect and a lot of the sh*t that ended up happening after that like the tweet he put out with talking about Shady XV and why can’t people close to [me] tell [me that my] sh*t sucks and it’s trash. Okay, listen man, you don’t have to like it, and it could really suck, but being that someone was really cool to you, you would expect some kind of reciprocation and just don’t go public with it and publicly express your opinion about how my sh*t is trash. I chalk it up to them being young and just being kids. I’ve been there. I was a dick when I first came out. [Laughs]”
Eminem elaborates, “So I liked them and then Earl Sweatshirt gets in an interview after Tyler trashes me and [says], ‘Anyone who listens to Eminem’s drinking too much Mountain Dew,'” he continued. “I was like, ‘Really? Like what the f*ck? You guys were just on tour with us. We just hung out. We kicked it. We made jokes.’ I know a lot of this sh*t; I can come across looking very petty. But at a certain point in time, someone has their breaking point. So when Tyler tweeted out the thing about ‘Walk On Water,’ ‘This f*cking song is horrible.’ I was like, ‘Aiight, I need to say something now ’cause this is f*cking stupid.'”
Earlier in the chat, Eminem describes Dr. Dre’s latest input. “Me and him had a couple discussions about the last album and one of the things he said to me, he hit me up one day and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how motherf*ckers are talking about your album,'” Eminem said when Sway stated that Dre was all over the project. “He had heard Revival. Him and Jimmy Iovine had sat in there and listened to most of the songs I had done in Rick Rubin’s studio, and based off that reaction, I think Dre was a little confused too when that happened with Revival – probably not more so than me – but we had a conversation earlier in the year and I think I had only had one song at that time.”
“This was like January,” he continued. “I had the one song and I was thinking about releasing it… wrote another song when I got back to Detroit, recorded it, ‘Okay, now I’ve got two songs. I might as well do a f*ckin’ album,’ And that’s kind of how that came about. There’s a couple songs that he deaded them just because he didn’t have a good reaction to them and also felt like one of them was going too far.”
Also during the interview, Eminem spoke about how and why he included vocalist and songwriter Jessie Reyez on two of his latest LP’s tracks, Colin Kaepernick’s movement and new Nike deal, his BET cypher and getting more political in his rhymes. Interestingly, Em confirmed that the Secret Service did show up at his studio after the cypher was all said-and-done and says they wanted to know if he was actually threatening Donald Trump.
For those that missed Tuesday’s Part 1, where Em touches on some mistakes relating to his older albums or yesterday’s Part 2, during which he discusses his most recent beefs, click the links within this paragraph.