Eminem has had lyrical feuds during his career with many recording artists, including Christina Aguilera, Machine Gun Kelly, Everlast, Cage, Insane Clown Posse, Will Smith, Miilkbone, Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, Limp Bizkit, Benzino, Ja Rule, Vanilla Ice, Canibus, Jermaine Dupri, Joe Budden, Lord Jamar, an Charlamagne Tha God.
Insane Clown Posse
The feud began in 1997 when Eminem was throwing a party to promote his debut EP, Slim Shady EP. He gave Joseph Bruce (Violent J from Insane Clown Posse) a flyer that stated “Featuring appearances without Esham, Kid Rock, and ICP (maybe)”.
Bruce asked why Eminem was promoting a possible Insane Clown Posse appearance without first contacting the group. Eminem explained, “It says “maybe.’ Maybe you will be there; I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you right now. You guys comin’ to my release party, or what?” Bruce, upset over not being consulted, responded, “Fuck no, I ain’t coming to your party. We might have, if you would’ve asked us first, before putting us on the fuckin’ flayer like this.” This is how their beef began.
Everlast and Limp Bizkit
In the early 2000s, Eminem was notified while on the Anger Management Tour that former House Of Pain member Everlast had mocked him on a song. Everlast claimed that while passing by Mathers in a hotel lobby, Mathers gave him a “weird look”.
Everlast’s verse from the Dilated Peoples all-start track “Ear Drums Pop (Remix)” contained a thinly veiled reference to Eminem (“Cock my hammer, spit a comet-like Haley/I buck a .380 on ones that act shady”) and went on to warn “You might catch a beatdown out where I come from” in his recounting of the incident.
Taking offense to this, Eminem and D12 quickly began work on a retaliatory song, “I Remember”, which ripped Everlast several times in public and with the song. This resulted in the long-lasting beef between Everlast and Eminem.
The animus between Canibus and Eminem started when Canibus and Wyclef Jean confronted Eminem and asked him if he ghost-wrote the track “The Ripper Strikes Back” by LL Cool J. Eminem denied that he wrote the track. After he was confronted, he said Canibus was “rude” to him.
Two years later, Canibus went to see Eminem on the Warped Tour and apologized to him for his reactions, and asked him if he still wanted the track. Eminem agreed, but when he heard the “Phuck U” from Canibus’ album 2000 B.C., he thought the track was directed to him and LL Cool J.
Shortly afterward, Eminem released his 2nd album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and Canibus decided to continue the “story” of Eminem’s single “Stan”. These caused the long-lasting beef between Eminem and Canibus.
The music video for “Just Lose It” generated controversy by parodying singer Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial, plastic surgery, and an incident in which Jackson’s hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.
It was banned on the BET channel, after complaints from Benzino and others (but was later reinstated, as critics of the ban argued that Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video could be seen). Both were only seen on BET: Uncut.
Many of Jackson’s supporters and friends spoke out about the video, including Stevie Wonder, who called the video “kicking a man while he’s down” and “bullshit”, and Steve Harvey, who declared, “Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass. back.”
Eminem later apologized in an interview with Sway Calloway and said “I never meant to intentionally diss or bash anybody” and “it was just pure jokes”.
Eminem’s conflict with Ja Rule started after 50 Cent signed with Shady Records and Aftermath. Ja Rule stated that he had a problem with Eminem and Dr. Dre signing someone he had a conflict with.
On November 19, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti were special guests on Star and Bucwild’s morning show on Hot 97 NYC. Gotti claimed to have “legal documents” referring to an order of protection 50 Cent “has on him”. Ja Rule threatened, that if 50 Cent released any diss track, he would take action against his two producers.
Busta Rhymes decided to join the conflict when he was featured on the track “Hail Mary 2003”, with Eminem and 50 Cent.
The feud intensified when Ja Rule released a diss called “Loose Change” in which he took shots at 50 Cent as well as Eminem, calling the latter “Feminism” and Dr. Dre “bisexual” and rapping that Suge Knight knew of Dre’s “bringing transvestites home”.
Benzino and The Source Magazine
In 2003, rapper Benzino, a silent co-owner of The Source, released a diss single titled “Pull Your Skirt Up” which aimed at Eminem. The track attacked Eminem’s “street cred” and accused him of being a tool of the music industry. They both exchanged diss songs and continued their beef.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Eminem has written several songs referring to a relationship with R&B singer Mariah Carey, although she denies that they were ever intimate. Eminem has referenced her in many songs, including “When the Music Stops”, “Superman”, Jimmy Crack Corn”, “Bagpipes from Baghdad” and “The Warning” While “Superman” was released in 2003, Carey released a song entitled “Clown” on her album Charmbracelet, released in 2002, which makes similar references in line with her 2009 hit “Obsessed”.
Eminem’s “Bagpipes from Baghdad” from his album Relapse disparages Carey and husband Nick Cannon’s relationship. Cannon responded to Eminem by saying his career is based on “racist bigotry” and that he would get revenge on Eminem, Joking that he may return to rapping.
After the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, popular electronic music artist Moby began speaking out against the album’s lyrics, citing references to misogyny and homophobia as unacceptable. Eminem responded by insulting Moby in “Without Me”, the lead single off his next album The Eminem Show.
IN 2004, Moby praised Eminem for criticizing then-U.S. president George W. Bush in the song “Mosh”, a track from Encore. The feud has since ended.
Throughout the album, lyrics criticize other musicians, primarily mumble rappers, and several have responded publicly. Eminem and rapper Machine Gun Kelly have had an ongoing feud for several years, and Kelly released a diss track in response to “Not Alike” titled “Rap Devil” on September 3, both songs were produced by Ronny J.
Kelly continued that feud at a concert, calling it “a battle between the past and the fucking future”. The song’s title refers to Eminem’s “Rap God” and Eminem went into the studio days later to record his response. as did former D12 associate Bizarre.
Kelly has continued the feud publicly. Ja Rule responded on social media, re-igniting a feud the two had 15 years prior. 6ix9ine, Iggy Azalea, Joe Budden, Die Antwoord, Lupe Fiasco, and Lord Jamar have also responded publicly, with 6ix9ine releasing the skit “Legend” that raps over Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.