The rapper mentions the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in the song “Unaccommodating” from his new album Music to Be Murdered By, with the lyric: "I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game, like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting."
Meanwhile his track “Darkness” centres around the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Eminem’s lyrics have generated controversy – the Manchester line, notably, was met with outcry from fans and condemnation from Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
In a statement released on Thursday, the rapper offered an explanation, saying the album, which he released by surprise last week, is not for the “squeamish” or the “easily offended”.
“In today’s wonderful world, murder has become so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I thought why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats? So before you jump the gun, please allow me to explain,” he wrote.
The statement continues: ”This album was not made for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you. Certain selections have been designed to shock the conscience, which may cause positive action. Unfortunately, darkness has truly fallen upon us.
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem)January 23, 2020
“So you see, murder in this instance isn’t always literal, nor pleasant. These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer. For the victims of this album, may you rest peacefully. For the rest of you, please listen more closely next time. Goodnight!
“With deepest sympathy, Eminem.”
Music to Be Murdered By is Eminem’s 11th studio album. You can read The Independent‘s review here.