Eminem has spoken up more about the criticism he faced as a white rapper in the early stages of his career.
In a special exclusive cover story for XXL, the Detroit hip-hop artist focused on his legendary career, which he revealed began on a difficult note owing to the hue of his skin. Slim Shady says he anticipated he'd have to cope with it as a guest in a genre dominated by Black folks.
“When things started happening for me, I was getting a lot of heat, being a white rapper, and XXL wrote something about that,” Eminem said. “I remember going to one of those newsstands in New York when the magazine had just started out, and I bought that and a couple of other rap magazines. I flipped to the last page first and XXL was dissing me. What the fuck?”
Inside the important in the current, XXL published an article on Eminem being a white rapper, criticizing him harshly. The insults did not sit well with the 8 Mile star.
“I don’t even know if I read the whole article — I was used to reading things like that about me — but it hurt because I felt they didn’t know me to make that kind of judgment,” he added. “Coming up, I had to deal with that a lot. I wanted to be respectful because what I do is Black music. I knew I was coming into it as a guest in the house."
“I understood, at the same time, everybody’s perception of a white guy coming into Hip Hop and all of a sudden things start happening for him. So, if XXL would’ve even had a conversation with me, maybe they would’ve understood me more.”
Eminem wound up addressing the famous outlet in his song "Marshall Mathers," which appeared on his third studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which was released in May 2000. Em was talking about helping XXL sell more magazines at the time of the insult.
“And then to top it off, I walked to the newsstand/ To buy this cheap-ass little magazine with a food stamp/ Skipped to the last page, flipped right fast/ And what do I see? A picture of my big White ass/ OK, let me give you muthafuckas some help/ Uh, here, XXL, XXL/ Now your magazine shouldn’t have so much trouble to sell/ Aw, fuck it, I’ll even buy a couple myself,” Eminem raps on the song.
The feud would not persist, as Eminem stated that he doesn't recall how he reconciled with the magazine, but that he finally did the legendary 2003 XXL cover shoot with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. The cover was designed to publicly unveil the G-Unit leader as Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment's newest signee.
“Obviously, I was upset,” the 47-year-old added. “And it wasn’t just magazines. I had rappers left and right taking shots at me. I was used to that, too. Coming up through the battle scene, that didn’t mean shit to me, you know? I would go head-to-head with whoever.”