Music

Eminem Slammed For “Deeply Distressing” Lyrics About Ariana Grande Manchester Attack

Family members of victims of the bombing have spoken out about the line, where Eminem equates his success to the explosion.

Eminem ariana grande photo

Eminem is being widely criticised for a lyric on his new album, in which he equates dropping music to the 2017 suicide bombing at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert which killed 22 people.

On ‘Unaccommodating’, Eminem raps “Im contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting”, followed by a bomb sound effect — last year, he evoked a similar image in a live freestyle rap. The lyrics have been condemned by both Manchester’s mayor and Figen Murray, a mother of bombing victim Martyn Hett.

“This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected,” wrote mayor Andy Burnham, with Murray calling the song a heartless ‘piggybacking’ off tragedy.

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engaged.”

On the same track, Eminem also compares himself to Saddam Hussein and Iranian revolutionary and war criminal Ayatollah Khomeini. Twitter users have largely slammed the line, though some fans have pointed out the rapper donated $2 million after the Manchester attacks.

Across, Music To Be Murdered By, Eminem centres the gun control debate, which is also, of course, a form of terrorism.

On one song, ‘Darkness’, he traces the history of the man behind the 2017 Las Vegas shooting which killed 58 people, with the music video featuring an actor re-creating the day. While the album’s reviews are mostly middling, ‘Darkness’ has divided critics, who either think it’s a “stark, chilling portrait” or a dangerous glorification of gun violence.

Grande has not publicly acknowledged the lyrics. The album also dropped on the day of late rapper, and Grande’s ex, Mac Miller’s first posthumous album.

His last album, 2018’s Kamikaze, was also surprise dropped, and largely took aim at Donald Trump, though mostly garnered criticism for a line where he called Tyler, The Creator a “faggot” — a line he apologised for soon after, despite having used the slur constantly throughout his career.

On this album Music To Be Murdered By, he mentions the controversy by saying he was “Misplacin’ my anger enough to give Earl and Tyler, The Creator the brunt“: we await the next surprise album to see how he limpidly addresses these comments.