Eminem’s surprise new record, Kamikaze, features a number of interesting guest appearances, including conscious rapper Joyner Lucas and Swedish indie pop group Little Dragon. One featured artist isn’t thrilled with his inclusion on the album, however. Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon is credited with co-writing the song “Fall”, but now he’s distancing himself from the track and criticizing Em’s lyrical message.
On “Fall”, Eminem lobs disses at a number of fellow MCs, including Tyler, the Creator. In addition to saying the former Odd Future head isn’t much of a lyricist without Earl “the Hooded Sweater” Sweatshirt, Em spits, “Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f****t, bitch/ It’s not just ’cause you lack attention/ It’s ’cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sack-religious.” Tyler, of course, has frequently referred to himself as gay, and more explicitly came out on his latest album, Flower Boy.
That sort of content didn’t sit well with Vernon, who apparently asked for the lyrics to be changed but was ignored. “Was not in the studio for the Eminem track,” he wrote on Twitter. “Came from a session with [producer] BJ Burton and Mike Will [Made it]. Not a fan of the message, it’s tired. Asked them to change the track, wouldn’t do it.”
In a further message, Vernon added that while he respects Eminem as “one of the best rappers of all time,” he’s still uncomfortable with the way he used his talents. “This is not the time to criticize Youth, it’s the time to listen. To act,” Vernon continued. “It is certainly not the time for slurs.”
These aren’t the only words Em has recently rapped that have gotten him in trouble. As he revealed on the Kamikaze opening track, “The Ringer”, his biting cypher from the 2017 BET Awards in which he burned President Donald Trump led to an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service.
Listen to “Fall” below.