Eminem is an American rapper, producer and songwriter, who has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists in the world and the best-selling artist of the 2000s decade. He is also known for being engaged in many feuds and conflicts with other artists from the music industry, including Ja Rule, Benzino, Insane Clown Posse, Limp Bizkit, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and others.
The conflict with singer Christina Aguilera started in 2000 after the release of his single “The Real Slim Shady”, in which Eminem stated that Aguilera had performed oral sex on MTV veejay Carson Daly and Limp Bizkit’s frontman Fred Durst. Aguilera responded to the song saying the lyrics were “disgusting, offensive and, above all, not true”. Before the feud ended, Eminem responded with another diss track featuring Proof called “Freestyle Gone Crazy,” which not only insulted Aguilera but also Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and N’Sync. Even so, the song was released after the feud ended, Aguilera’s song Can’t Hold Us Down, from her album Stripped, suggests that Eminem “Must talk so big / To make up for smaller things.” Their feud ended two years later backstage at the Video Music Awards after Aguilera presented the rapper an award onstage.
Insane Clown Posse
The feud began in 1997, when Eminem was throwing a party to promote his debut EP, The Slim Shady EP. He gave Violent J a flyer which stated “Featuring appearances by Esham, Kid Rock, and ICP (maybe).” J asked why Eminem was promoting a possible Insane Clown Posse appearance without first contacting the group. Eminem explained, “It says ‘maybe.’ Maybe you will be there; I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you right now. You guys comin’ to my release party, or what?” J, upset over not being consulted, responded, “Fuck no, I ain’t coming to your party. We might have, if you would’ve asked us first, before putting us on the fuckin’ flyer like this.”
Eminem took J’s response as a personal offense, subsequently attacking the group in radio interviews. J and Shaggy 2 Dope responded with a parody of Eminem’s “My Name Is” entitled “Slim Anus”, and other tracks including “Nuttin’ But a Bitch Thang” and “Please Don’t Hate Me”. Eminem insulted Insane Clown Posse on various tracks from his album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), including “Marshall Mathers” and “Ken Kaniff”. In 2002, Eminem briefly dissed them on his single “Business” from The Eminem Show.
Insane Clown Posse talked about the feud being squashed in an interview with MTV, saying that Proof squashed the conflict in 2005, which was followed by a bowling game between members of D12 and Psychopathic Records. Violent J stated that, “He contacted us and we had a bowling game – it was really cool. We’re something different. They could have skipped over us and said forget them, but they included us and said let’s squash it.”
The conflict between Eminem and Ja Rule started after 50 Cent signed to Eminem’s label Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s label Aftermath. Ja Rule stated that he had a problem with both of them for signing someone he disliked. On November 19, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti were special guests on Star and Bucwild’s morning show on Hot 97 NYC. Irv Gotti had some legal documents stating the order of protection 50 has on him.
Ja Rule threatened that, if 50 Cent released any songs with defamatory or insulting lyrics directed at him, he would take legal action towards both of them. However, Dr. Dre was the one who produced 50 Cent’s track “Back Down” in 2003 from the album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, which made derogatory comments toward Murder Inc., and Ja Rule’s immediate family members.[dead link]
Busta Rhymes joined the conflict when he was featured on the track “Hail Mary 2003”, with Eminem and 50 Cent. The song, a remake of Tupac Shakur’s song “Hail Mary”, was done partially as a response to Ja Rule’s remake of another Tupac song, “Pain” (retitled “So Much Pain”). The rappers felt that Rule could never amount to Tupac, and so they made the track, mocking him for trying to “imitate” the deceased rap icon. Eminem prevented Ja Rule from appearing on any of the “new” Tupac songs he produced, including those on Loyal to the Game.
The conflict escalated when Ja Rule released “Loose Change” (actually released before “Hail Mary”), in which he insulted 50 Cent, called Eminem by the name “Feminem”, falsely announced Dr. Dre as “bisexual”, and claimed that Suge Knight knew of Dre “bringing transvestites home”. The song also includes lyrics that insulted Eminem’s mother Debbie Mathers, his then ex-wife Kim Scott, and even referenced his then 8-year-old daughter Hailie Jade. “
These lyrics offended Eminem deeply, causing him to immediately get his rap group D12 involved, as well as the major part of his label, including Obie Trice, his close friend. Eminem then made the track “Bully”, and together, he and Trice responded with a song titled “Doe Rae Me” (aka “Hailie’s Revenge”). Eminem also made a reference to Ja Rule’s insult toward his daughter in “Like Toy Soldiers”, by saying:
“I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide ’em, if some shit ever does pop off, I’m supposed to be beside ’em. That Ja shit I tried to squash it, it was too late to stop it. There’s a certain line you just don’t cross and he crossed it. I heard him say Hailie’s name on a song and I just lost it.”
Since then the feud has cooled down.
The music video for “Just Lose It” generated controversy by parodying singer Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial, plastic surgery and an incident in which Jackson’s hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984. It was banned on the BET channel, after complaints from Benzino and others (but was later reinstated, as critics of the ban argued that Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video could be seen). Both were only seen on BET: Uncut. However, MTV did not drop it, and the video became one of the most requested on the channel.
A week after the release of “Just Lose It”, Jackson called into the radio show of Steve Harvey to report his displeasure with the video. “I am very angry at Eminem’s depiction of me in his video,” Jackson said in the interview. “I feel that it is outrageous and disrespectful. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive.” The singer continued: “I’ve admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this. The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large.” Many of Jackson’s supporters and friends spoke out about the video, including Stevie Wonder, who called the video “kicking a man while he’s down” and “bullshit”, and Steve Harvey, who declared, “Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back.”
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Eminem has written several songs referring to a relationship with R&B singer Mariah Carey, although she denies the claim. She says that they hung out but nothing sexual or intimate occurred. Eminem has referenced her on many songs that include “When the Music Stops”, “Superman”, “Jimmy Crack Corn”, “Bagpipes From Baghdad”, and “The Warning”. While “Superman” was released in 2003, Carey released a song entitled “Clown” on her Charmbracelet album, released in 2002, which makes similar references in line with her 2009 hit “Obsessed”.
Eminem’s “Bagpipes From Baghdad” from his album Relapse may be his best-known reference to Carey due to the controversy it caused. The song disparages Carey and husband Nick Cannon’s relationship. Cannon responded to Eminem by saying his career is based on “racist bigotry”, and that he would get revenge on Eminem, joking that he may return to rapping. Eminem later stated that the couple misinterpreted the track and it was wishing the two the best. Cannon also stated that there were no hard feelings, and that he just had to express his feelings about the song.
In 2009, Carey released “Obsessed” in which she sings about an obsessed man who claims to be having a relationship with her. Cannon claimed that the song was not an insult directed at Eminem, despite the fact that the music video features Carey dressed as a male stalker who strikingly resembles Eminem (wearing his characteristic hoodie, du-rag and sweatpants). However, Eminem responded in late July 2009 by releasing a track titled “The Warning”. It contained samples of voice mail recordings which Eminem claimed were left by Mariah Carey when the two were together. Eminem also hinted that he had other evidence of their relationship in his possession. A little over a year later in September 2010, Nick Cannon responded with the song “I’m a Slick Rick” which in Slick Rick’s flow he takes shots at Eminem.
After the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, popular electronic music artist Moby began speaking out against the album’s lyrics, citing references to misogyny and homophobia as unacceptable. Eminem responded with several disprespectful lines about Moby in “Without Me”, the lead single from his next album The Eminem Show. The lines were the subject of much scrutiny, because Eminem slapped Moby with a homophobic slur and instructed him to “blow me”. Moby kept quiet until 2004, when he praised Eminem for his courage in bashing then-U.S. President George W. Bush in the song “Mosh”, a protest song from Encore. The feud has since died.
Benzino and The Source
Rapper Eminem was granted “2/5 mics” for his sophomore effort, The Marshall Mathers LP, by famous Hip Hop magazine The Source during early 2000. This did not go over well with Eminem, and he mocked The Source in a few songs. However, an argument did not follow until Source co-owner, Raymond ‘Benzino’ Scott, released a diss track aimed at Eminem, and granted his own rap group’s album “4/5” mics, as well as a front page cover on the magazine. Beef quickly ensued, where Eminem, along with Shady Records artists, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and D12 took aim at The Source’s credibility, arguing that nowadays with Scott as the owner, the magazine was corrupt. Competing Hip Hop magazine XXL also became entangled with the feud, and eventually Scott retired from his position at The Source. Since then, Benzino has attempted to discredit the reputation of Eminem and Shady Records, as well as other upcoming artists, such as Slaughterhouse, by leaking racist comments made by a youthful Eminem. Eminem’s last known responses to Benzino were on the tracks, “The Sauce” and “Yellow Brick Road.” 
Everlast and Limp Bizkit
Eminem was notified while on the Anger Management Tour that former House of Pain member, Everlast, had mocked him on a song. Everlast claimed that while passing by Mathers in a hotel lobby, Mathers gave him a “weird look.” Taking offense to this, Eminem quickly began work on a retaliatory song, “I Remember” and later teamed up with D12 to make the song, “Quitter”. It was reported that long-time friends of Eminem, group Limp Bizkit, were meant to be featured on “Quitter”, but Fred Durst canceled at the last moment. The record continued its release without featuring Limp Bizkit, causing the Everlast-Mathers dispute to continue. In a TRL interview, Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal made a statement that if Mathers and Everlast were to fight in real life, Everlast would win. This angered Eminem to the point of rage, and an insulting track aimed at both Everlast and Limp Bizkit appeared on D12’s mainstream debut, Devil’s Night, as a hidden track called “Girls”. Recently, things seem to have settled, and Eminem has no longer been heard insulting Everlast or Limp Bizkit. It is currently unknown if the dispute is resolved.
Canibus, an artist known for his lyricism, started beef with Eminem in 1998, before Eminem was signed. Eminem spoke on how the beef with Canibus started on Tim Westwood’s hip-hop show. Em stated how Wyclef and Canibus approached him in 1998 and asked if he ghost-wrote the lyrics to LL Cool J’s “The Ripper Strikes Back” which was a diss to Canibus. After Eminem denied writing the song, he explains that Canibus was rude to him.
Canibus came to see him on the Warped Tour the following year and apologised for his reactions and asked if Eminem was still up for doing collaboration. Canibus presented Eminem with the track “Phuck U” from the 2000 B.C. album, Eminem turned down the track, citing that it sounded like Canibus’ verses were disses directed toward him and LL.
Eminem made numerous name drops on the The Slim Shady LP. Including lines like “I’m cancerous, so when I diss you wouldn’t wanna answer this. If you responded back with a battle rap you wrote for Canibus”. He also rapped “Lesson Three: Get a job at a label; switch demos with Canibus and put yours on the owner’s table (here listen!)” on the track “Get You Mad” which was on Sway & Tech’s This Or That album.
Shortly after Eminem’s sophomore album The Marshall Mathers LP dropped, Canibus decided to continue the story of Stan, a reference to the song of the same name, from the album. In it Canibus told a story about a crazed fan who eventually drove himself off a bridge because Eminem didn’t write a letter back to him. On Canibus’ third release entitled C True Hollywood Stories, he directed various tracks towards dissing Eminem.
Eminem responded with one line on a track from Xzibit’s 4th release Man Vs Machine from October 2002 called “My Name” where he says: “I’d rather have my mothafucking ass whooped by Moby/’fore I let some bitch in a can like Bis cop over me”.
November 19, 2002 Canibus released his 4th album Mic Club: The Curriculum where he continued to slander Eminem. “Dr C PhD” was aimed mainly at Eminem. Nearing the end of the track gives it away “to tell you the truth, I thought your rebuttal was weak/round the outside, blah, blah, etceteras, etceteras/the body of my literature is bigger than South America/nigga look, this is all I gots to say/suck my P-H-D-I-C-K” He continued the attacks on Eminem with ‘Curriculum 101′ where Bis spits “Anybody better than Bis must be a hoax/Black man NO/what about the great white hope? /What? Man you must be sniffing’ some great white coke/Don’t you that’s like Gary Coleman fighting’ the hulk/Still not even quite that close/A great mic fight in ya rubber dingy boat 50 miles out from the coast/What the f*ck is the MATHERS with you/I beat you black and blue, then I get a tat of you too/Better yet I put a tattoo of me on you/A 10 by 10 “C” logo, neon blue”. Canibus also disses Eminem on his mixtape, ‘The Brainstream,’ released in 2003.
Eminem continued with his evasive low-key and subliminal responses to Canibus in his third major-label album The Eminem Show, making small mentions of the beef in “Square Dance” where Em spits “Can-I-Bitch don’t want no beef with slim no…” and he also calls him ‘Canadabis’ at the end of the track. Apart from that, there were a few subliminal disses scattered throughout the album on tracks such as ‘When the music stops’ and ‘Say what you say’ and the intro to the first single “Without Me” where he references the “Round the outside” part of Bis’ boxcutter track, but as with before, no direct disses, if any in some cases, were made. Eminem also mentions Canibus on his Benzino diss track “Nail in the Coffin”. Eminem recorded a five minute diss to Canibus entitled “Canibitch” which leaked on the Internet.
Despite Eminem lack of commitment to this one-sided beef by Canibus (the last mention of Canibus by Eminem on any track was in 2003), the latter continues to diss Eminem. In 2007, with his ninth studio album Melatonin Magik, Canibus released an Eminem diss track called ‘Air Strike (Pop Killer)’ in which Eminem’s group D12 was featured. Originally presented as D12 turning on Em, it was later discovered that Canibus and DZK, the track’s producer had approached the members of D12 to collaborate on a completely different track and the verses from that was used in such a way as to insinuate that there was a D12 internal beef. Canibus also dissed Em numerous times in a King of the Dot rap battle against Dizaster by saying “I bet you hang out with Elton John, in Lebanon,when Eminem’s gone, so both of you make feminine bars!”
After the release of The Slim Shady EP in 1998 Cage has gone on record saying that Eminem has copied his style and his lyrics. This has been denied by Eminem. Multiple disses sprang from both artists.
Cage sparks the beef with the song “And So Kiddies…”Cage mentions “Tired rhyme styles from Detroit, Michigan” referring to Eminem’s heavy MTV recognition and fame. He also insults Eminem’s alter ego Slim Shady, calling him Bitch Lady.
Eminem responds with a freestyle off Tony Touch’s – Power Cypha: 50 MCs Volume Three mixtape. Eminem raps, “I write a rhyme a day, So it’s no wonder how come your whole album is sounding like a bunch of shit that I would say.” Then in the background, Em yells “CAGE!!”
Cage responds with the track “Illest Four Letter Word.”
Eminem responds with a freestyle off the Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show. Eminem raps “Waging wars, went on stage and sprayed Cage with Agent Orange, then wiped my ass with his page in Source.” This is referring to Cage’s song, “Agent Orange.” Eminem also re-used this verse in the song “Get You Mad.”
Eminem disses Cage again in the song, “Drastic Measures.” He references Cage’s sister in the line, “scrap, back the fuck up we miss the brewery, hurry, I’m trying to pick up Cage’s sister early.”
Cage responds with, “Bitch Lady.”
Eminem responds with “Role Model (song)” off of The Slim Shady LP. Eminem raps, “I bought Cage’s tape, opened it and dubbed over it,” jokingly admitting that The Slim Shady LP is a rip off of a Cage mixtape.
Cage finally responds with “Still C.A.G.E.” Cage raps, “Since the last time y’all heard me, I shit on some friends, and after Bitch Lady drops, I’mma do it again.”
The beef has died down and is unknown if both has resolved the feud.
Eminem was involved in many controversies over lyrics which have been perceived as being homophobic; an Australian politician attempted to ban entry for Eminem because of these lyrics. Eminem, however, denies that he is homophobic and says that during his upbringing such obscene words as faggot and queer were commonly spoken as being derogatory in general and not implicitly singled towards homosexuals. During an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, journalist Anderson Cooper had a conversation about the issue with Eminem:
Cooper: Some of the lyrics, like, you know, in the song “Criminal” you say “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge, That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez, Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest, Pants or dress – hate fags? The answer’s “yes””
Eminem: Yeah, this scene I came up in. That word was thrown around so much, you know, faggot was like thrown around constantly to each other, like in battling.
Cooper: Do you not like gay people?
Eminem: No, I don’t have any problem with nobody. You know what I mean? I’m just like whatever.
Eminem is a friend of gay singer Elton John. When asked in an interview with the New York Times about same-sex marriage being legalized in his home state of Michigan, Eminem responded, “I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want”. He said that his “overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be.”
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