"I'm not going to be America's punching bag."
When Eminem released "Fall," many were taken aback by his assault on Tyler, The Creator, whom he dubbed a "fa**ot" on wax; he also clowned on Earl Sweatshirt, dubbing him "The Hooded Sweater." Consider that hundreds of thousands of people listen to Em's music, while a fraction of them religious check out Tyler and Earl's respective interviews. In that sense, many listeners came to view Eminem as a bully of sorts, attacking two young talents out of the blue. However, the reality is, Tyler and Earl both openly trashed Eminem on record, and given their shared personal history, it's no wonder that Em took the betrayal personally.
Sway cites the fact that Tyler was a big fan of Em growing up, prompting Eminem to open up about his recent diss. "I really did like them," says Em. "I thought their movement was really cool. We didn't make music, but I felt there was a mutual respect." Em proceeds to mention the tweet Tyler put out trashing Shady XV, dubbing it "shit" and "trash," and it's clear that the words struck a nerve. "Listen man," says Em, "you don't have to like it, and it can really suck, but being that someone was really cool with you, you'd expect some reciprocation."
"Just don't go public with it," says Em. "I chalk it up to them being young and just kids. I was a dick when I first came out." Sway agrees, citing one mysterious incident. "Earl Sweatshirt gets in an interview after Tyler trashes me, says 'anyone who listens to Eminem is drinking too much Mountain Dew.' I was like really? I was like what the fuck? You guys were just on tour with us! We cracked jokes!"
He closes out with some mature reflection. "A lot of this shit, I can come across being very petty, but at a certain point in time, someone has their breaking point. When Tyler tweeted out that thing about "Walk On Water" - 'this fuckin song is horrible' - I was like alright. I need to say something now. This is fucking stupid. I'm not going to be America's punching bag."
He claims many of his Kamikaze grivences were personal, and given that Em, Tyler, and Earl actually toured together, it's indeed surprising to hear the Odd Future talents running their mouths. He also addresses the backlash over the use of "fa**ot," saying he realizes he might have crossed a line. "I was angry when I said the shit about Tyler," said Em. "Every time I saw this kid, I was always so cool to him. I loved his energy. He was a funny dude." He reveals that he went too far on "Fall," saying "in my quest to hurt him, I realized I was hurting a lot of people saying it."