Eminem rapped about siding with Chris Brown over the singer’s 2009 assault on Rihanna in a snippet from an unreleased song that leaked online on Sunday, November 3.
“Of course I side with Chris Brown,” the 47-year-old raps. “I’d beat a bitch down too.”
The track was reportedly recorded during the sessions for Eminem’s 2009 album, Relapse. An alternate version of the controversial verse ultimately made it onto B.o.B’s 2011 song “Things Get Worse,” on which Slim Shady instead raps that he “put Natasha Bedingfield in a washer” and “murdered” Dakota Fanning.
After the snippet leaked, Twitter users criticized the rapper for the problematic line. “Eminem grown ass really glorifying abuse for a damn song,” one critic tweeted. Several other users pointed out that Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) has been rapping about violence for years, most infamously on his 2000 song “Kim,” in which he enacted killing his ex-wife Kim Scott Mathers and putting her in the trunk of his car.
The 15-time Grammy winner went on to work with Rihanna, 31, several times. They released “Love the Way You Lie” in 2010, “Numb” in 2012 and “The Monster” in 2013. The duo also toured together in August 2014, performing six concerts at stadiums in California, New Jersey and Eminem’s native Detroit.
Brown, 30, physically assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in his car the night before the Grammy Awards in February 2009. He pleaded guilty to the felony and served nearly five years of probation. The former couple briefly rekindled their romance in late 2012 before splitting again in mid-2013.
“We love each other and we probably always will. And that’s not anything that we’re gonna try to change,” the “Work” singer said in a 2012 interview. “It’s not something you can shut off if you’ve ever been in love.”
The “Nobody’s Business” collaborators have kept in touch in recent years, and Brown has made headlines several times for commenting on Rihanna’s Instagram posts. A source told Us Weekly exclusively in November 2018 that the exes are still “extremely supportive of each other’s projects.”
Rihanna has been dating billionaire businessman Hassan Jameel since 2017. Brown shares daughter Royalty, 5, with his ex Nia Amey and is expecting his second child with ex Ammika Harris.
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