Hate Rhymes?

Eminem wonders “What if I was gay?”

Oscar-winner and controversial hip-hop artist Eminem has observers slack-jawed yet again, this time after a clip of a new song entitled “What If I Was Gay?” leaked online. The song, a collaboration with rapper Joyner Lucas, apparently is about two men questioning their sexuality, or wondering what it’s like for gay people in the world.

“What if I told you that I’m out of place? / Wait, what if I told you that I was gay?” the pair rap in the song.

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The leak has proven particularly incendiary in the context of history for Eminem & Lucas, both of whom have met criticism over the years for homophobia in their lyrics. Particularly in his earlier work on albums like The Slim Shady LP, critics attacked the singer for his frequent use of the word “fa*got.” In interviews–including one with out-gay journalist Anderson Cooper–Eminem denied any homophobia, claiming that he used the words in a generally negative way, not one directed specifically at LGBTQ people.  He also endorsed marriage equality in 2010.

Given that the entirety of the song has yet to go online, we’re reserving judgment. That said, we’re hoping that after 20 years of these criticisms, Eminem has actually learned something about choosing words carefully.