Eminem apologizes to Rihanna in his latest record “Zeus” over a leaked decade-old diss that he claims to not remember recording in the first place.
In an interview with SiriusXM on Monday (Jan. 4), Slim Shady broke down the track from his Music to Be Murdered By – Side B deluxe album that he dropped as a surprise on Dec. 18. The apologetic lyric in “Zeus” — “And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna/ For that song that leaked, I’m sorry, Ri/ It wasn’t meant to cause you grief” — refers to a controversial leaked snippet of the song “Things Get Worse” where Em sided with Chris Brown after he assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.
“Honest to God, I told Paul [Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager and co-founder of Shady Records] this when it first happened. I was like, ‘First, I didn’t know how somebody got it. Second of all, I have no … zero recollection of even remembering doing that verse,'” Shady said during the interview. “Like, the rhyme scheme doesn’t even sound, like, familiar to me. So I was caught off guard, too. I was like, ‘What the f–k?! I said that?'”
He continued to say he wasn’t making excuses for himself and that it was “f–king stupid” for him to record that verse, which he said happened during the sessions for his 2009 album Relapse. He went on to explain that at the time, he was also relearning how to rap due to his battle with addiction. “With the Relapse record, when I was first started learning how to rap again because of the drug situation that I went through and having to relearn a lot of things, that was one of those things that was like, ‘Well, if it rhymes, say it.’ … That’s not even an excuse.”
“I’m sure looking back now I should have thought better of it,” he added.
“I’m not playing, Rihanna, where’d you get the VD at?/ Let me add my two cents/ Of course I side with Chris Brown/ I’d beat a b—h down too/ If she gave my d–k an itch now,” Eminem raps on the verse in question.
A spokesperson for Eminem, Dennis Dennehy, told Billboard at the time of the leak that the rapper scrapped and rewrote the 10-year-old verse before it appeared on his 2019 collaboration with B.o.B. titled “Things Get Worse.”
Listen to Eminem’s latest interview below.