A new leak of a previous leaked Eminem track is causing controversy online, over a lyric where the rapper says he’d “side” with Chris Brown and “beat” Rihanna. The lyric in question, “Of course I side with Chris Brown, I’d beat a bitch down too if she gave my dick an itch now”, appears to have been an early version of an unreleased track titled Things Get Worse, recorded in or before 2009, but which was ultimately abandoned.

However, a tweet claiming “Eminem throws shots at Rihanna” has already been picked up by several publications, and has been retweeted more than 1,000 times.

It was posted by Music News Facts, which operates more of a music fan account in general rather than a publication. It appears to have gleaned the info from hip-hop website South Pawer, which in turn cites a since-removed YouTube video posted to the Eminem subreddit. Are you dizzy yet?

Since the YouTube video was removed, PEDESTRIAN.TV reached out to the Reddit user who posted the original clip and confirmed that yes, the lyric is legit. It appeared in an early version of an unreleased track titled Things Get Worse, which Eminem fans believe was likely intended for his 2009 studio album Release. However, the track was abandoned – and might never have seen the light of day except for a thriving black market of Eminem leaks.

As Reddit user m4_semperfi explained to PTV, fans will pay anywhere from US $500 to $3,500 for Eminem leaks, who will then share their leaks with the wider Eminem fan community.

“People love Eminem,” m4_semperfi said. “He barely releases his music. He has various “phases”. Some people prefer his old ones, and of course that means the only old songs we have are [what he] released in the past, Eminem’s style/voice/topics constantly change. His music right now is far different than 10 years ago. Leaks provide that old Eminem to diehard fans that really miss the old style.”

In the case of Things Get Worse, m4_semperfi said it was likely intended for the Relapse album, based on the vocals and production, but didn’t make the cut and was pushed back to an intended sequel, Relapse 2, which was cancelled the following year. Things Get Worse, which features two verses by Eminem and one verse by B.o.B, was leaked in 2011 by an internet user named ‘Koolo‘. When Koolo leaked it, he said he had obtained an additional version of the song, which featured three Eminem verses only. However, he said he had “no intention” of leaking it. According to m4_semperfi, no one has the full Things Get Worse (Eminem-only) track right now, except the new person who leaked it – who is so far keeping it to themselves.

This snippet is the latest in a sudden series of leaks: there have been five leaks in the past few weeks alone, included a track titled What If I Was Gay, which was apparently an unreleased track for rapper Joyner Lucas’s album. In that track, Joyner raps, “What if I told you I was out of place? Wait, what if I told you I was gay?”. Eminem raps back, “What if I’m a hypocrite who’s just afraid to face truth? Wait, what if I told you I’m gay too?”.

Eminem’s earlier works often featured violent, misogynistic language, but since the 2016 US Presidential election, the rapper has become increasingly political – to the point where Secret Service agents visited the rapper over a track on his 2018 album, Kamikaze.

The recent Rihanna controversy stung particularly for some fans because the pair have collaborated on a number of successful tracks, most notably 2010’s Love The Way You Lie – a song which literally explores an abusive relationship. However, if m4_semperfi’s guesses are correct, this lyric – as rooted in misogyny as it is – would have been recorded prior to the pair collaborating, and during a time when Eminem’s lyrics were at their most violent. This doesn’t make it ‘okay’, but it does raise the question of how outraged should we all be over a lyric from a known-provocateur that was never supposed to see the light of day, anyway.

At the time of writing, neither Rihanna nor Eminem have commented on the leaked lyric.

Image: Love The Way You Lie