Eminem compared himself to Salman Ramadan Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.
In his song Unaccommodating, taken from the new surprise album Music to Be Murdered By, he raps: “But I’m thinking of screaming” bombs “on the game / As if I were out of a waiting Ariana Grande concert.”
It is the second time that the rapper has confronted Abedi in his texts. In a 2018 freestyle battle rap, with a warning spoken at the outset that “nothing is forbidden” to get a reaction from the crowd, he rapped:
Crushed between brainwashing
Like an Islamic regime, an extreme jihadist radical
Suicide bomber he is seeing
Ariana Grande sings her last song of the evening
And while the audience of that damned concert is leaving
It detonates the device tied to its abdominal region
I will not finish it, for obvious reasons
The mother of 15-year-old Charlotte Hodgson, who died in the attack, called the track “disgusting” and “disrespectful”.
Elsewhere in Unaccommodating, he confronts Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeni and refers to the 9/11 attacks in the line: “And you support it as a cowardly act / As a Saudi attack when the towers collapse.” He also compares his critics’ antagonism to the killing of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay: “Look how I’m doing, they want me to leave / They want JonBenet, I’m not easy going.”
As for the music to be assassinated, Eminem also compares himself to the serial assassins Richard Ramirez (known as Night Stalker), Albert DeSalvo (known as Boston Strangler) and Charles Manson. The album is his eleventh full release, and his third album in three years. It features guest stars including Ed Sheeran, Q-Tip and late rapper Juice WRLD, who died at 21 in December.