In his second statement on the matter, Eminem apologized Thursday (December 4) for an old freestyle in which he offensively disses black women, and he took The Source to task for trying to exploit the recording.
Two weeks ago, in a much ballyhooed press conference, The Source magazine co-founder and rapper Benzino unveiled what he perceived to be a smoking gun showing Eminem was destructive to hip-hop culture (see "The Source Digs Up Tape Of Eminem Using Racial Slurs"). Whatever the motives behind Benzino's revelation, the rap community promptly began to debate whether Eminem's youthful rhymes reflected his true personality.
In Thursday's page-long statement, Eminem said the tape "in no way represents who I was then or who I am today. In becoming an adult, I've seen what hip-hop and rap music can do to touch millions of people. The music can be truly powerful, and it has helped improve race relations in a very real way. I want to use this negative attack on me as a positive opportunity to show that."
The Source claims the recording was made in 1993, while Eminem says it was recorded 15 years ago. The discrepancy means the difference between a tape recorded by a grown man and a growing adolescent.
Eminem's statement went on to say that unveiling the tape was "really nothing more than blatant self-promotion for a failing magazine and one man's lifeless music career. They're scared of what can happen if the hip-hop community shows it can live without them."
Though Eminem's initial statement two weeks ago didn't feature the words "I'm sorry," this time he put forth a clear apology. "So while I think common sense tells you not to judge a man by what he may have said when he was a boy, I will say it straight up: I am sorry I said those things when I was 16. And I don't want to let anybody turn this into an opportunity to promote their own bullsh-- agenda."
A track called "Bully," the latest volley in the Eminem/Benzino beef, recently appeared online as part of a bootleg Eminem EP called Straight From the Lab (see "Eminem's Benzino Dis Turns Up In The Lab").