Stevie Wonder and Eminem both launched their careers in Detroit, but the Motown legend has few kind words for the local rapper made good. In an interview in Billboard magazine, Wonder criticized Eminem for making fun of Michael Jackson in his ”Just Lose It” video. ”Kicking someone when he’s down is not a good thing,” Wonder told Billboard. Of Eminem, he said, ”I have much respect for his work, though I don’t think he’s as good as 2Pac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level.” Wonder also echoed a charge made by Jackson by hinting that the rapper’s spoof of the King of Pop was racist. ”He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of color,” Wonder said of Eminem. ”So for him to come out like that is bull—-.”
Wonder’s defense of Jackson came during a weekend when Jackson was subject to last-minute searches by Santa Barbara investigators looking into child molestation charges against the singer. Sheriff’s deputies raided Neverland on Friday with a search warrant, conducting a surprise search of the singer’s ranch much like the one that brought the investigation to the attention of the public in November 2003. According to the Associated Press, investigators also obtained a sample of Jackson’s DNA this weekend, with the singer voluntarily submitting to a swabbing of his mouth. It wasn’t clear what prosecutors expected to find in their searches, but the discovery process has a Monday deadline, by which time prosecutors and defense attorneys must exchange the evidence they’ve gathered in pre-trial investigations. Jackson’s legal team, bound by a court-imposed gag order, has not commented on the searches. The trial is scheduled for January; Jackson has pleaded not guilty on all charges.