Eminem Accused of Blackface After Will Smith Mask Photos Resurface Via Lord Jamar

Eminem is under fire for a past Halloween costume, where some argue he was wearing blackface. In an old photo posted by rapper Lord Jamar this week, Marshall Mathers wore a Will Smith mask. To some, this is a bridge too far for the hip-hop star.

Eminem and Lord Jamar have been at each others' throats in recent weeks, starting in October when Eminem insulted Lord Jamar in his on-stage banter at a live show. This week, Lord Jamar's latest volley was a photo of Eminem's ill-advised costume from years past.

The photo showed Eminem in his bleach blonde-haired days with the cartoonish mask over his face. In another picture, he pulled it up, revealing who was underneath. He was sitting on a couch with a woman smiling beside him, in a grainy picture that appeared to be old.

"Hey [Eminem] please put this in context for me," he wrote. "I'm tryingto understand why you'd be clowning in a BLACKFACE MASK backstage at the MTV AWARDS? You should come on the YANADAMEEN GODCAST so we can discuss this among other things."

Commenters on Lord Jamar's post almost immediately questioned whether this represented true blackface, sinc there was no makeup involved. Jamar argued that it was still too close to home, and that Eminem seemed to know it based on the context of the photo.

"If it is a WILL SMITH MASK, what gives this WHITE BOY the right to wear it?" he wondered. "Especially in EUROPE where he knew he could get away with it, also if it's NO PROBLEM then why have these pics been hidden up until now?"

Lord Jamar invited Eminem onto his Yanadameen Godcast podcast to discuss the photos, and their issues with each other in general. So far, Eminem has not responded. Jamar later deleted the post.

Eminem did wear the Will Smith mask in public in 2000, when he won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Album. According to a report by Capital Xtra, he was on tour in the U.S. at the time, but he recorded a video acceptance speech just in case he won. The clip showed him wearing the mask while apologizing for missing the ceremony.


Eminem and Lord Jamar have been exchanging insults since last summer, when Eminem insulted Jamar on his latest album, Kamikaze. In the song "Fall," he leveled insults at just about every big name in the industry, but he took particular time in attacking Lord Jamar, who had questioned whether Eminem had really contributed to the "culture" of hip-hop.

"And far as Lord Jamar, you better leave me the hell alone / Or I'll show you an Elvis clone," he rapped. "I belong here, clown! Don't tell me 'bout the culture! / I inspired the Hopsins, the Logics, the Coles, the / Seans, the K-Dots, the 5'9"s, and oh / Brought the world 50 Cent — you did squat, p— and moan."