Here is an incomplete, 30-second history of Eminem's homophobia and its apparent evolution: On 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP's "Criminal," he rapped, "Hate fags? The answer's yes." In 2001, he shared the stage with one of those fags, Elton John, for a rendition of "Stan" at the Grammys. In 2010, Anderson Cooper asked him if he disliked gay people, and he said, "No, I don't have any problem with nobody. You know what I mean? I'm just like whatever." In 2012, he showed his support for marriage equality by telling The New York Times Magazine, "I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want."
And so, while not exactly what any gay person (except for Elton John) would describe as an ally, it seemed that Eminem was evolving on the idea that gay people are people too. It gets better, indeed. And now, this week, the third single off of the embarrassingly titled The Marshall Mathers LP 2, "Rap God," was released. In case you missed it, it contains not just the word "faggot" ("I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I'm practicing that I'll still be able to break a motherfuckin' table / Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half"), but also this curious verse:
You fags think it's all a game 'til I walk a flock of flames
Off a plank, and tell me what in the fuck are you thinking?
Little gay looking boy
So gay I can barely say it with a straight face looking boy
You witnessing a massacre
Like you watching a church gathering take place looking boy
Oy vey, that boy's gay, that's all they say looking boy
You get a thumbs up, pat on the back
And a way to go from your label everyday looking boy
Hey, looking boy, what you say looking boy?
Using "fag"/"gay" as an insult is an apparent attack on fellow rapper Wocka Flocka Flame (and perhaps fellow white rapper Mac Miller). It is also an apparent way to get people to write about him because who the fuck cares about Eminem anymore?
I do appreciate the verse for achieving incoherence in its apparent bigotry. Homophobia as nonsense—what a powerful statement.