NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick has responded to Eminem's diss almost 20 years after he was originally slammed on the rapper's 2002 single "Without Me." "At first, I was kind of freaked out and of course, nowadays it's amazing because that song is one of my favorite songs and then to have my name at the end in it too, it's just like, I did something right.. or wrong," he said in an interview.
In the song, Eminem (who's been known to diss more than his fair share of celebrities), refers to the NSYNC in a line saying, "I go tit for tat with anybody who's talking this s–– and that s––, Chris Kirkpatrick, you can get your a–– kicked." At the time of the song's release, Kirkpatrick explains he was on the tour bus in Florida with the rest of his NSYNC band members when he was told about the development. "I was getting all of these text messages and everyone was like 'yo have you heard the new Eminem song? He makes fun of you in it.'" he said. "I was like yeah he always does, NSYNC rhymes with everything. They're like, 'no, you!' I'm like, 'what do you mean me? He says Chris Kirkpatrick? What the hell rhymes with Chris Kirkpatrick? I heard 'get your a–– kicked' and I said 'oh, yeah. That does rhyme.'"
The reason behind the seemingly random diss stems from one of Kirkpatrick's TRL appearances, the NSYNC singer speculates. "I think we were talking about him and I said something about how he was like the crocodile hunter with controversy. He liked to get in with the crocodiles and that's why people listen to him. Whereas, in my mind I was thinking and he's got good music but he probably took it as I was saying that the only reason he's popular is because he's controversial," he said.
Following the incident, Kirkpatrick says he didn't really get the chance to confront the "Stan" rapper, even though they were constantly moving in the same circles and were at various events at the same time. But, even though the line isn't the nicest mention, he says he's still appreciative for the shout-out. "To me, it's kind of the ultimate flattery because, like I said, Eminem is one of my favorite artists and I've always been a big fan and it was just, to be in a song, whether or not he wants to kick my a–– is fine, but to be in the song was just like if he really hates me then he did the absolute opposite of what he should've done to get me back," he said.