For the last few days, Eminem has faced harsh criticism for the creative choices made on new album Music to Be Murdered By. Not only did the Detroit rapper make light of the Ariana Grande concert bombing in Manchester on one of the LP’s tracks, but he also put out a music video featuring a re-enactment of the Las Vegas festival shooting.
In a move that should shock no one, though, Em has zero regrets about the release. In a new open letter posted to Instagram on Thursday, the 47-year-old MC defended himself and the album’s content.
According to Slim Shady, his strong lyrics are justified because “murder has become so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it.” “I thought why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats,” he writes.
(Read: The 25 Worst No. 1 Hip-Hop Songs)
Em also takes the stance that Music to Be Murdered By just isn’t for the faint of heart, or those who read too literally. “If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you,” he explains, addressing the “offended” reader as simply “Gentle Listener”.
“These bars are only meant for the sharpest knives in the drawer,” Em continues. “For the victims of this album, may you rest peacefully. For the rest of you, please listen more closely next time.”
As a reminder, the 2017 Manchester terror attack claimed the lives of 23 people and left 139 wounded, most of which were young Grande fans. The 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Vegas resulted in 60 deaths and more than 800 wounded individuals.
Read Eminem’s full open letter below.