Eminem is manning up and apologizing to Rihanna, using his new album to make amends with the singer over some previously leaked lyrics about the assault she suffered at the hands of Chris Brown. In his new track, "Zeus," from the surprise album Music to Be Murdered By — Side B, Eminem raps, "But, me, long as I re-promise to be honest / And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna."
He further adds: "For that song that leaked, I'm sorry, Ri / It wasn't meant to cause you grief. Regardless, it was wrong of me." The line is in reference to an unused lyrics that was purportedly recorded in 2009, wherein Eminem rapped, "Of course I side with Chris Brown. I'd beat a b— down too." Following this, Eminem and Rihanna went on to become friends and work together multiple times. The pair collaborated on "Love the Way You Lie" in 2010, "Numb" in 2012 and "The Monster" in 2013. Brown and Rihanna are said to have a civil relationship these days, with the "Work" singer previously saying that they "love each other and we probably always will."
The controversial line first surfaced in 2019, with many criticizing Eminem over it. However, many of the rapper's fans pointed out that it's not unusual for him to make violent comments or references to assault in his raps. Most notably, the most controversial song of his career is "Kim," from The Marshall Mathers LP, which is a fictional story of Eminem attacking and murdering his ex-wife, Kim Scott Mathers, and her new boyfriend.
Eminem isn't the only music star to lament his complicated past with Brown, as Drake also previously spoke out about working with the singer while also having had a romantic relationship past with Rihanna. "I have the utmost love and respect for [Rihanna]," Drake said during a 2019 interview with Rap Radar. "I think of her as family more than anything and I felt — I actually had kind of a moment of hesitation before because I didn't want her to ever feel disrespected by me linking up with him, but I also know how many nights she knows that me and [Chris] have both been consumed by this issue, and I think she is a good person with a good heart who would rather see us put the issue to bed than continue like childish s— that could end up in a serious situation."