“Please Listen More Closely”: Eminem Responds To Backlash Over Offensive Manchester Lyrics
"These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer."
Eminem has responded to criticism around his latest album Music To Be Murdered By, saying it “was not made for the squeamish”.
Upon its surprise release last week, the album immediately made news for a line in ‘Unaccommodating’ that referenced the 2017 Manchester bombing which killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert.
The line, which equated his own record-drop with the bomber’s, was condemned by both Manchester’s mayor and victims’ families.
But the criticism around the album extended out past the one song, with the album’s focus on gun violence, depending on who you talk to, either glorifying it or being a powerful statement on gun control. None of this is particularly new territory for the rapper — in fact, controversy about violence is a staple for Eminem.
Either way, he’s responded in a statement on Instagram directed to the “gentle listener”, though it doesn’t address the conversation around ‘Unaccommodating’ directly. Instead, he writes that the album is about murder because it’s become “so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I though why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats?”.
He added that if you were easily “offended or unnerved”, his album wasn’t for you, as it’s designed to “shock the conscience, which may cause positive action”.
Ultimately, he ends the note by insinuating those who don’t like Music To Be Murdered By, such as the mother of Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett, are too dumb to get it.
“These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer,” he writes. “For the victims of this album, may you rest peacefully. For the rest of you, please listen more closely next time.”
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