It looks like rapper Eminem will wade into the waters of LGBTQ controversy.
A new track, “What If I Was Gay,” leaked to Rap Century, hypothesizes about a public reaction if the artist came out as queer. Eminem appears as a featured artist with rapper Joyner Lucas.
“What if I’m a hypocrite who’s just afraid to face truth? / Wait, what if I told you that I’m gay too?” Eminem raps.
The rapper’s publicists have told outlets like Metro that the rapper is not gay.
The song will appear on an upcoming Joyner album. Leaked lyrics show Joyner exploring the subject of what it might be like to be LGBTQ.
“But on the real, what if I told you that I was brave? / I grew up different than I was raised / But still, what if I told you I'm out of place? / Wait. What if I told you that I was gay?”
Twitter users note such “in someone else’s shoes” themes appear in many of Joyner’s songs. But the appearance Eminem on the track seems especially noteworthy considering his long and complicated history with the gay community.
The Detroit rapper faced withering criticism in the early 2000s for homophobic lyrics, and despite such image rehab as a Grammys duet with Elton John, he’s continued to use terms like "fag" in lyrics. In the 2018 single “Fall,” he used the term in a dis on Tyler the Creator: “Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a faggot, bitch / It's not just 'cause you lack attention / It's 'cause you worship D12's balls, you're sac-rilegious.”
Eminem has satirized his difficult relationship before, notably during the Seth Rogen and James Franco film The Interview, where he came out as gay in a mock interview before publicists shut the conversation down.
He also referenced bisexuality in the single “Medicine Ball,” where he rapped “I had a vasectomy Hector / So you can't get pregnant if I bisexually wreck ya.”