On Thursday, January 23, Eminem seemingly responded to the heavy criticism he received from some fans following the surprise release of his new album on January 17, 2020. With a statement posted to Instagram, written to the “gentle listener,” the 47-year-old rapper addressed the “shock” lyrics that have upset his followers.

“In today’s wonderful world murder has become so common place that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I though why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats?” he wrote. “So before you jump the gun, please allow me to explain. This album was not made for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you.”

He continued, “Certain selections have been designed to shock the conscience, which may cause positive action. Unfortunately, darkness has truly fallen upon us. So you see, murder in this instance isn’t always literal, nor pleasant. These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer. For the victims of this album, may you rest peacefully. For the rest of you, please listen more closely next time.”

Eminem’s letter came just a few days after the mayor of Manchester, England, Andy Burnham, spoke out against one of the rapper’s new songs on Tuesday, January 21. For those who don’t know, the track — titled “Unaccommodating” — included a lyric about the May 2017 bombing in Manchester, which occurred at the end of an Ariana Grande concert and tragically killed 22 people.

“I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game / Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” he rapped before the sound of an explosion was heard on the song.

After he heard the song, Andy responded to the line of lyrics and slammed the rapper in a statement to BBC News.

“This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected,” he told the news outlet.

Figen Murray, whose son died during the attack, also voiced her opinion on the recently released song. She took to Twitter and called it “pointless.”

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote. “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”

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