By Max Bibeau | USA
On October 10th, Marshall Mathers III, better known as Eminem, was recently thrust back into the spotlight after releasing his BET Cypher in which he repeatedly attacked sitting US President Donald Trump. The completely acapella freestyle resulted in a flood of support from other anti-Trump demonstrators, heavily contrasting the threatened boycotts and outrage that erupted from the pro-Trump crowd.
While this attack may be the most deliberate and lengthy, it’s definitely not the first time that the rapper has called out presidents in his music. Here are two other times Eminem dissed presidents he disapproved of.
1. Bill Clinton
On The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem’s first album to go diamond, plenty of celebrities were targeted in lyrics. In the song “Who Knew,” however, some direct shots were taken at then-president Bill Clinton.
I’m sorry, there must be a mix-up/You want me to fix up lyrics while the President gets his d**k sucked?/F**k that, take drugs, r*pe sluts/Make fun of gay clubs, men who wear make-up
In these lines, Eminem is directly referring to Bill Clinton’s 1998 sex scandal involving President Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monia Lewinsky. The scandal left a lasting blemish on Clinton’s presidency, with trials and court cases taking up much of 1998.
This direct attack on an already sensitive subject, not to mention the extremely sexist, homophobic, and transphobic message in the lines led to extreme controversy throughout not only this song, but the entire album upon its release.
Along with that line, another controversial line was released regarding Clinton in Eminem’s 1999 Album The Slim Shady LP.
So if I said I never did drugs, that would mean I lie and get f***ed more than the President does
2. George W. Bush
George Bush received the blunt of Em’s wrath on the 2004 album Encore, which ended up going 4x Platinum in the US, selling over 5 million copies in the US alone. The songs “Mosh” and “We As Americans” primarily dealt with political controversy at the time.
Mosh pits outside the Oval Office, someone’s trying/To tell us something maybe this is God just/Saying we’re responsible, for this monster/This coward that we have empowered, this is Bin Laden/Look at his head nodding-how could, we allow/Something like this without, pumping our fist now.
Along with constantly saying “F*ck Bush,” Marshall made some choice comments about the Iraq war.
Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell, we gon’ let ’em know/Stomp, push shove, mush; f**k Bush!/Until they bring our troops home, come on
While the entire song condemns the Iraq war, the real controversy arose from one of Eminem’s lines on “We As Americans.”
F**k money. I don’t rap for dead presidents. I’d rather see the President dead,
Within both the explicit and censored versions of the song, the word “dead” was censored. The aggressive line landed the rapper directly in the crosshairs of the Secret Service, though nothing eventually resulted from the investigation.
So while the spotlight is on Eminem’s BET Trump diss, it’s important not to forget that the rapper’s career has thrived off of disrespect of authority and controversy, two things clearly visible in the BET Cypher. It’s time we recognize Eminem’s new diss for what it is: simply a continuation of his lifelong attitudes toward government and authority in general.
Disclaimer: Neither the author of this article nor 71Republic.com endorse the language or message of certain lyrics depicted within.
Max Bibeau is a Senior Editor for 71 Republic. You can contact him through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Instagram with the handle @_maxbibeau.