Eminem Likens Himself to Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock in New Song ‘Greatest,’ as October 1 Anniversary Nears
Posted on: September 5, 2018, 08:00h.
Last updated on: September 5, 2018, 08:07h.
Rapper Eminem’s new track titled Greatest — in which he compares himself to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, the gunman who massacred 58 people last October before ending his own life — has caused a predictable maelstrom for the entertainer ranked by Forbes as one of the top-selling artists in his genre of all time, with an estimated net worth of $100 million.
After surprise-releasing his 10th studio album last Friday — called Kamikaze (as in the Japanese suicide bombers of WWII) — the 45-year-old is once again generating plenty of criticism for his lyrics. In Greatest, Eminem equates himself to Paddock.
Manic states, Stephen Paddock with automatic, stay sprayin’ / At anything that may stand in the way / As I stand at the bay window with a hand grenade / And a tre eight, at the Mandalay Bay / Common sense, I’m a dollar short and a day late,” Eminem raps.
A “tre eight” refers to a .38 caliber handgun in street parlance. Police discovered 23 firearms in Paddock’s 32nd-floor room after the shooting, but he is known to have used an AR-15-style rifle with an automatic bump stock to create the rapid fire that took down so many in the crowd below so quickly that infamous night.
There has been no public response as of yet from MGM CEO Jim Murren to the rapper’s lyrics. The MGM Resorts head has had his own scandal to deal with, as he’s talked his way around a lawsuit filed earlier in the summer against the October 1 victims that caused a public uproar.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Linking himself to the deadliest mass shooter in modern US history isn’t the only line in Kamikaze that’s causing a stir. Eminem attacks numerous fellow rappers, including Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly, Chance the Rapper, and Drake (who, coincidentally, is listed by Forbes as also worth $100 million).
On the song The Ringer, Eminem refers to President Donald Trump as “Agent Orange” — a reference to the leader’s notorious spray tan — and an “evil serpent.” He claims the president has sent secret service agents to investigate him in the lyrics as well.
“Agent orange just sent the Secret Service / To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him / Or asked if I’m linked to terrorists,” the rap goes.
Eminem has repeatedly bashed the president in raps and on Twitter, but Trump has yet to take the bait and respond. Last fall, Eminem admitted that lack of attention bothered him.
I was and still am extremely angry. I feel like he’s not paying attention to me. I was kind of waiting for him to say something and for some reason, he didn’t,” Eminem told Newsweek.
Always ready to take the bait, on the other hand, bookmaker Paddy Power has a line asking whether “Trump will challenge Eminem to a Rap Battle via Twitter in 2018?” The current odds are at 500/1.
More Artists Who Have Stirred the Pot
Eminem isn’t the first musician to reference the October 1 killings.
“You know, that sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans,” Fat Mike, the lead singer of punk band NOFX, said on stage in Las Vegas in June. After the crowd groaned, he responded with “You were all thinking it.”
Along with the 58 deceased, some 500 others were injured during the October 1 attack. Las Vegas Metro Police concluded its investigation in early August without settling on a possible motive.
Merchant of Anything That Sells
Despite numerous musicians firing back at Eminem’s divisive lyrics — which include the use of the derogatory term “fa**ot” — sales are soaring. Kamikaze is on track to hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, which would mark the rapper’s ninth career album chart-topper.
Eminem may present as from the ‘hood, but he’s all business when it comes to making money. Along with the album, Kamikaze is selling accompanying merchandise, including $70 bomber jackets and $60 hoodies.
But savvy businessman that he may be, Eminem has competition and isn’t the top-selling hip-hop artist of all time.
Jay-Z tops that list — with an estimated fortune of $900 million — with Diddy next at $825 million. Dr. Dre, who produced Kamikaze, outranks his talent: he is third on Forbes list at $770 million.
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