Love him or hate him, Eminem is back to being his old, abrasive self on his new single, "Without Me."
On the first release from The Eminem Show, due June 4 (see "The Doc's Diagnosis: Eminem Still Crazy"), Eminem, who produced the song himself, displays his continued mastery of rapping with various flows while riding a track that sounds like a mix between g-funk and disco.
The MC complains about the FCC and proclaims that the world needs a little controversy, adding that MTV would feel hollow without his presence. Likely referring to Bubba Sparxxx, Slim Shady gives his take on the Caucasian rappers who have put out music since his emergence, saying there are a lot of fish in the sea but that without him it would feel so empty.
Taking time out from his affirmations, Eminem throws a few jabs at some of his peers. He raps about kicking 'NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick and Limp Bizkit where the sun don't shine, the latter a retaliation to a feud that arose when Bizkit's DJ Lethal took Everlast's side in a war of words between him and Eminem (see "Eminem-Everlast Fight Enters Round Four").
Eminem's most unexpected retaliation, however, is against Moby, who spoke out against the rapper's controversial lyrics at the time of the 2001 Grammys, where the accused homophobe performed with Elton John. Eminem raps that at 36, Moby is too old to be in tune with what people want to hear and that "nobody listens to techno."
The jab is not going to start a lyrical feud with Moby, however. The electronic music guru wrote in his online journal Friday (April 26) that he's honored to be name-checked in the single.
"The weird thing is that I actually do think that Eminem has skills as an MC, but it disturbs me that he glorifies homophobia and misogyny in his songs, especially seeing as his listeners are, for the most part, very impressionable 10-year-old boys," Moby wrote. "I won't be dissing him back (given the fact that my skills as an MC are terrible), ... but I will say, as I said before, that musicians need to assume a certain artistic responsibility when their fanbase is very, very young.
"From my perspective, any music that glorifies abuse, misogyny, homophobia or racism is disturbing, but especially so when it's targeted to a fanbase of 10-year-old boys," he continued. "If you're reading this, Eminem, thanks for the dis. No hard feelings from me."
Moby didn't entirely resist poking fun at the rapper, ending his posting with a P.S.: "Was anyone else amused when that 'Radio don't even play my jams' song ('The Way I Am') was on the radio 30 times a day?"
The video for "Without Me" premieres May 1 on MTV (see "Eminem Dresses Up Like Bin Laden For 'Without Me' Video").
As for The Eminem Show, the first 2 million copies released in the U.S. will include a bonus DVD containing such features as concert footage, interviews, lyrics and the trailer for Em's movie, "8 Mile," which is slated to hit theaters November 8.