- Eminem’s latest album, Music To Be Murdered By, marks a significant shift in his music, as it is the first album without homophobic lyrics.
- Anderson Cooper questioned Eminem about his controversial lyrics in a past interview, but fans felt he didn’t go far enough in defending the LGBTQ+ community.
- Despite using offensive lyrics in his songs, Eminem claims that his music is simply art and doesn’t reflect his personal beliefs or actions.
Over the years, Eminem has become less of a reactive rapper and one who thinks before he speaks. This sign of maturity has helped Eminem add to his impressive $250 million net worth. Because of this, his latest album, Music To Be Murdered By is the first album that does not contain homophobic or misogynistic lyrics. The album even has songs on it that are some of the most downloaded Eminem songs on Spotify.
However, before this growth came to maturity, Eminem’s music was still plagued with troubling lyrics — lyrics that Anderson Cooper called him out for after audiences called them homophobic. Cooper even went as far as to ask Eminem if he had hatred toward the LGBTQ+ community, given the nature of his lyrics.
In his early interviews, Eminem looks painfully awkward. During his interview with Cooper, Eminem comes off as a well-spoken star who had matured quite a bit from his interviews as a young man. However, the interview with Cooper grilling Eminem about his “homophobic” lyrics did not age well.
Anderson Cooper Grilled Eminem About Not Liking Gay People
A little after two years after Eminem decided to get sober, he sat down with Cooper to discuss his life, his sobriety, and his lyrics. Eminem has never specifically singled out one group to throw hate at.
However, Cooper did single out Eminem as to whether he hated gay people as a result of his lyrics. But despite pressing Eminem, it appeared that Cooper never really got the answer he was looking for.
“I felt like I was being attacked,” Eminem said about his childhood. “Like you were being singled out,” Cooper said.
“I was being singled out and I felt like was it because of the color of my skin? Is it because of that you’re paying more attention?” Eminem asked. “Because there are rappers who do and say the same things that I’m saying and I don’t hear no one saying anything about that. I didn’t just invent saying offensive things.”
Anderson noted, “Some of the lyrics like in the song “Kill You”, you’re saying, ‘B***h, Im’a gonna kill you/ You don’t want to f- with me/My words like a dagger with a jagged edge that’ll stab you in the head whether you’re a fag or a les/Hate f**s? The answer’s yes’.”
“The scene that I came up in, that word was thrown around so much,” Eminem explained. “F****t was thrown around constantly to each other in battling that it was just…”
Cooper interrupted, saying, “But do you not like gay people?”
“No. I don’t have any problem with nobody,” Eminem replied. “I’m just whatever.”
Eminem did not realize at the time that Cooper was gay as he had not come out at that time. But he was a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. As such, many wished that Cooper had been harder on Eminem during the interview than he was.
Anderson Cooper Had Not Come Out As Gay At The Time Of The Eminem Interview
Right before Cooper had interviewed Eminem, he had spoken out about a Vince Vaughn film, Dilemma. This was because the film used a homophobic slur.
With the hard stance that he had regarding the film, fans expected that Anderson would take a hard stance with Eminem as well. When he did not, many were unhappy with the direction of the interview and thought Cooper should have done more.
“It was very bad timing for Anderson to cause such a fuss about the [‘Dilemma’] trailer and then sit down with Eminem,” a GLAAD source explained.
“You can’t have it both ways. To inject yourself into the debate about celebrities using the word ‘gay’ and then to be neutral about a performer who has rapped about hate is just hypocritical.”
The source went on to say, “If Anderson really wanted to stand up and defend the gay community, he would have told ’60 Minutes’ that he would only interview Eminem if he could tell him exactly what he personally thought about his disgusting lyrics.”
This clearly did not happen. Instead, Cooper and Eminem discussed that what Eminem says in his lyrics does not reflect his beliefs or what he does at home. That led to more confusion given that Eminem would go on to use similar words in lyrics on his next album, Kamikaze.
Eminem Says His Lyrics Are Part Of His Art, Not Who He Is
Despite the fact that Eminem has used misogynistic, homophobic, and racist lyrics in the past, that does not mean that he necessarily believes what he raps about. The message can come across as confusing for both fans and those who have collaborated with Eminem.
“That’s not how you are in your life?” Cooper asks about Eminem’s controversial lyrics.
“Profanity around my house, no,” Eminem replies. “But this is music. This is my art. This is what I do.”
Despite this, Eminem would go on to release more tracks that were controversial. Most recently, Eminem released “Fall” which was a diss track aimed at Tyler the Creator. On the track, Eminem again used the word f****t, even though he claimed he did not have a problem with gay people.
Eminem reportedly created the track because Tyler the Creator said he did not like a song Eminem released.
“Did you ever hear me publicly say anything about that” Tyler the Creator asked his fans. “Because I knew what the intent was.”
Tyler the Creator went on to say, “He felt pressured [to say he regretted the lyric] because people got offended for me. Don’t get offended for me. We were playing Grand Theft Auto when we heard that. We rewound it and were like: ‘Oh,’ and then kept playing.”
Eminem did realize that he did go too far with the lyric on the track “Fall.” He also apologized for using it but it still led fans and critics to question just how Eminem felt about those in the LGBTQ+ community.
“I think the word that I called him on that song was one of the things where I felt like this might be too far,” Eminem explained. “Because in my quest to hurt him, I realize that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it.”
Eminem claimed that because he was angry with being “America’s punching bag” with the negative response he was getting to tracks on Kamikaze from Tyler the Creator and his crew, he felt the need to “tap” him back for all the nasty comments that were made.
However, in retrospect, the fact that a homophobic slur was used was not the right thing to do by Eminem’s admission.
The most recent album that Eminem released, Music To Be Murdered By, does not contain any homophobic slurs. Be it a sign of growth or the realization that the world is a different place from when Eminem first released music in 1996 is unknown.
But there were at least signs of growth between the interview with Cooper and with Sway, given that Eminem would not use any slurs on the air. As such, that interview aged much better than the 60 Minutes interview did or ever will.