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Eminem’s homophobic lyrics are the worst kind of throwback

Eminem, in the lead-up to his new album, has released several songs, and one of them is getting the sort of media attention he enjoyed in the early 2000s.

Younger readers may not recall that, years before the dark but sanitized "Love the Way You Lie" and "Not Afraid" iteration of Eminem, the rapper was deeply controversial for violent and homophobic lyrics; he ended up performing with Elton John at the 2001 Grammy Awards in order to quiet some of the criticism. (Not that it ameliorated the critics entirely; GLAAD protested outside the ceremony.)

In 2013, the nasty lyrics haven't gone away, but the criticism, though definitely happening, is somewhat more muted. It seems unlikely anyone will take to the streets this time; It's no longer novel to protest Eminem. Eminem's (or his label's) current strategy seems to be pitching different singles at different elements of his fanbase. "The Monster" is a relatively tame, radio-friendly collaboration with Rihanna; "Rap God," on the other hand, is violent and nasty. Eminem wants to break a "table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half."

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