The Secret Service Visited Eminem After His Threatening Lyrics Toward Donald Trump
Along with YG and Nipsey Hussle, Eminem has been one of the most vocal critics of the sitting US President. Two years ago to the month, Marshall Mathers used the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards as an opportunity to not only condemn Donald Trump, but to also disassociate from the President’s supporters. Many perceived the freestyle as a line-in-the-sand moment from the MC/producer superstar from the same state that voted red in the 2016 election. Several weeks later, Eminem followed with Revival, an album that extended that political message.
Last year, Em followed Revival with Kamikaze. The theme of that surprise release was also some rage. However, this time, the MC vented frustrations at Rap peers, including Joe Budden, MGK, Tyler, The Creator, and Brand Nubian’s Lord Jamar. However, amid some memorable disses and corresponding content, Em suggested that the Secret Service paid him a visit.
“‘Cause Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service / To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him / Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists / I said, ‘Only when it comes to ink and lyricists,’” Eminem rapped on album opener “The Ringer” (embedded below). Within a day, the agency refused to comment on the validity of Eminem’s claims, per TIME magazine.
However, Buzzfeed persisted. Making a Freedom Of Information request in ’18, the publication received documents this week. That information confirms that Eminem was telling the truth. Among the 40-page docket is a report that between January and February of 2018, the Secret Service investigated the artist for “threatening lyrics” on the Revival video single “Framed” (also embedded below). Per Jason Leopold’s Buzzfeed report on the document request, “The Secret Service characterized Eminem as “exhibiting inappropriate behavior” and noted that he, via the rap, “threatens protectee.” The report also pointed to a 2017 freestyle allegedly aimed at the President and his family.
NEW/SCOOP: Took a temporary detour from my usual reporting
After @Eminem released Kamikaze, I listened to it on my way home from work. On The Ringer, he raps he was visited by Secret Service
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) October 24, 2019
The report aligns Eminem’s lyrics with commentary he’s made about Donald Trump, including a ’17 Vulture interview. The rapper described the politician as making his “blood boil.” With this information, the agency’s Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division investigated Marshall Mathers’ background. On December 20, 2017, the Secret Service contacted Em’s legal team to arrange an interview.
On January 16, 2018, that meeting took place, including the rapper’s legal team. Although the notes from the conference are redacted in the report, it confirms a discussion around the BET freestyle and “Framed.” Reportedly, when one of the agents began reading the lyrics to the televised freestyle during the meeting, Eminem started rapping along with the agent.
“At the conclusion of the interview, Agents again offered to answer any questions. It was also explained that any additional questions about this investigation should be directed to the USSS [United States Secret Service] Office of Government and Public Affairs. Counsel then escorted Agents from Mather’s office,” Buzzfeed reports from the documents.
Internally, the Secret Service reviewed the meeting. Reports indicate “it was determined that this case will be NON-REFERRED” to a federal prosecutor.
In the 1980s, one of Eminem’s biggest inspirations, the group N.W.A., was federally investigated. In a new interview this month, rapper Immortal Technique also confirmed being contacted by federal officials for messages in his music.
#BonusBeat: A playlist of Eminem’s “The Ringer” and “Framed”: