Eminem is facing significant backlash over a lyric in his new song, “Houdini,” where he references the July 2020 shooting involving Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez. The controversial line has sparked outrage among fans and critics alike.



In the track, which dropped on Friday, Eminem raps, “If I was to ask for Megan Thee / Stallion if she would collab with me / Would I really have a shot at a feat? / I don’t know but I’m glad to be.” This reference to Megan’s shooting incident has led to widespread criticism, particularly as June marks the beginning of Black Music Month.

One critic took to social media to express their outrage: “Is it too much to ask that as we enter Black music month in a few days that folks not allow Eminem to make light of Megan, a BW who was a victim of gun violence, to be targeted in a song by a white rapper?” They added, “Folks are too comfortable disrespecting Black women.”

Several fans rallied to Megan Thee Stallion’s defense. A music journalist, Sowmya Krishnamurthy, criticized Eminem as being “out of touch,” stating, “Eminem’s career has largely been built on being shocking and provocative to certain audiences … Being 51 years old and taking shots at Megan Thee Stallion?”

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion

Despite the backlash, some have defended Eminem, arguing that his alter ego Slim Shady has always been known for his provocative lyrics. One fan commented, “If you’re offended by the Megan Thee Stallion line in Eminem’s #Houdini, you clearly don’t understand/know who Slim Shady is – the whole purpose is that he makes fun of everybody.”

Eminem’s controversial line isn’t the first time a male entertainer has made light of Megan’s shooting. His longtime collaborator, 50 Cent, previously apologized for making fun of the incident. “Damn I didn’t think this s—t was real,” 50 Cent had said in July 2020. “I wouldn’t have done that if I knew you was really hurt sorry.”

The new song “Houdini” is the first single from Eminem’s forthcoming album, The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce). The rapper’s provocative lyrics have always been a hallmark of his career, but this latest controversy has reignited debates about his relevance and sensitivity in today’s music landscape.

Megan Thee Stallion, who was shot by Tory Lanez in July 2020, has previously slammed those who make light of the incident. In November 2022, Drake cast doubt on her version of events in his song “Circo Loco,” prompting Megan to respond, “Stop using my shooting for clout.”

Tory Lanez was found guilty in December 2022 on several felony counts related to the shooting and is currently serving a 10-year sentence. The ongoing dialogue about the incident highlights the broader issues of gun violence and respect for Black women within the music industry.

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