Eminem vs. Adam Lambert: Did Em really just call Adam a homophobic slur?
Yeah, he did. Probably. Vulture notes the rising controversy over “Elevator,” a leaked track from Eminem’s upcoming Relapse: Refill re-release which includes the following lyrics: “Sorry, Lance, Mr. Lambert, and Aiken ain’t gonna make it/They get so mad when I call them both fake, it’s/All these f—in’ voices in my head, I can’t take it!” Except Eminem sort of blurs the words “fake, it’s” together, so they sound awfully like a certain hateful slur, presumably directed at Lance Bass, Adam Lambert, and Clay Aiken — who, coincidentally, happen to be three prominent out gay singers.
Eminem’s pronunciation leaves enough room for reasonable doubt, I guess, but it’s pretty obvious what he was going for here. It’s not a subtle joke. Nor is it a new one for Em, who’s featured homophobic ranting as part of his schtick for a solid decade now. Despite occasional signals in recent years that he’d moved away from his most vicious gay-baiting, this May’s Relapse was as nasty as ever on that front.
And here’s the thing: Eminem wants you to be offended by those lines. Relapse showed that he’s still an extremely talented lyricist, but it also showed that, for whatever reason, he’s still unwilling at age 37 to give up his violent, homophobic, misogynist shock tactics. He probably threw in that little Adam Lambert jab with the express purpose of getting a rise out of bloggers like me. Mission accomplished! Adam Lambert himself may have the right idea about this: A few days ago, the Idol phenom tweeted, “Wow eminem mentioned me in a song?! I must be doin something right!? Even if he used the f word…. Whtev.” (Lambert later charitably added, “Oh he says ‘fake it’ my bad.”)
What do you think of this mini-feud? Have you had it with Slim Shady’s relentless offensiveness, or do you even care anymore? Do you think anyone who would have bought Relapse: Refill will change their mind because of this?
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Photo credit: Eminem: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images; Lambert: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos