A scrapped collaboration between Eminem and Joyner Lucas, "What If I Was Gay" has leaked online, and fans of both artists are cringing. The song aims to imitate the tone and subject matter of Eminem's 2000 hit "Stan," along with Lucas' songs like "I'm Not Racist." The results missed the mark, most fans agree.
"What If I Was Gay" was an unintentional leak of a studio demo, according to a report by Rolling Stone. So far most journalists and bloggers seem to agree that the song was never meant to be released, which is one of the few points in its favor. The song is about five minutes long and features Lucas playing a character questioning their sexuality.
"But on the real, what if I told you that I was brave?" he raps. "I grew up different than I was raised / But still, what if I told you I’m out of place? Wait / What if I told you that I was gay?"
The song already had listeners uncomfortable, as they felt Lucas was ill-equipped to speculate on the inner monologue of a gay character. Rolling Stone's Charles Holmes added that the beat "would have been left on (the Kanye West album) 808s & Heartbreak‘s cutting room floor." However, the controversy really began with Eminem's verse.
"What if I told you I’m homophobic?" he rapped, countering Lucas' line.
Eminem seemed to play a friend of Lucas' character in this dialogue, voicing his worst homophobic feelings. In a series of fast, gasp-inducing lines he suggested that homosexuality is a "genetic flaw," that "it's repulsive" and that it is a "sin" for which Lucas needs to "repent." However, within the same verse he found a way to sneak in a diss for fellow rapper Logic, apparently suggesting that Logic has "mixed feelings" as well and meaning it as an insult.
"What if I Was Gay (ft. Eminem)" is the most cursed song title I can imagine holy shit— Maff (@Maff_C_) October 31, 2019
This becomes all the more confusing later in the long, long verse when Eminem's character makes his own confession. Apparently, somewhere within his verse Lucas' character committed suicide, finally forcing Eminem's character to confront the "real" motive behind his outrage.
"What if I'm a hypocrite who's afraid to just face the truth?" he rapped. "Wait, what if I told you I'm gay too?"0comments
The song has been panned stylistically, conceptually and socially, with fans seeming to agree that it strikes precisely the wrong chord in today's discourse on sexuality. Many also thought it was too soon for Eminem to try and make any statement on homosexuality, as he has continued to use homophobic slurs even in his most recent album. That includes one case where he used one against Tyler, The Creator, who opened up about his same-sex attraction on his latest record, Igor.
For the most part, "What If I Was Gay" has been removed from the Internet. However, there is still a chance it will show up on Joyner Lucas' new album ADHD next month.