Eminem Faces Backlash for Megan Thee Stallion Reference in 'Houdini'

Eminem stirs debate with controversial new track lyrics.

by Nouman Rasool
Eminem Faces Backlash for Megan Thee Stallion Reference in 'Houdini'
© Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Eminem has stirred up controversy with a lyric in his new song "Houdini," referencing the July 2020 shooting incident involving Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez. In the track, which debuted on Friday, Eminem muses about collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion in a way that plays on her traumatic experience, asking, "If I was to ask for Megan Thee / Stallion if she would collab with me / Would I have a shot at a feat? / I don’t know but I’m glad to be." This reference has not gone unnoticed as critics and fans expressed discontent on social media.

One user criticized the timing of the song as Black Music Month approaches, highlighting the insensitivity of making light of a Black woman who was a victim of gun violence. "Is it too much to ask that as we enter Black music month in a few days that folks not allow Eminem to make light of Megan, a BW who was a victim of gun violence, to be targeted in a song by a white rapper?" the user wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Eminem's Controversial Comeback

The backlash continued, with another user pointing out Eminem's lengthy absence from music and suggesting that he might be using the controversy to gain attention: "You haven’t dropped an album in 20 years.

The people are not checking for you any longer, but hey, mention Megan’s assault and get the people talking @Eminem. You will crumble." Music journalist Sowmya Krishnamurthy echoed these sentiments, calling Eminem "out of touch" and critiquing his penchant for shock value, especially at his age and against younger artists like Megan Thee Stallion.

However, some defended Eminem, arguing that his provocative style is characteristic of his alter ego, Slim Shady, who is known for satirizing and calling out other artists. A supporter on X commented, "If you’re offended by the Megan thee Stallion line in Eminem’s #Houdini, you clearly don’t understand/know who Slim Shady is—the whole purpose is that he makes fun of everybody.

It ain’t that deep, and it’s a good line. This isn’t a diss." Further complicating the discourse, some fans noted that Megan Thee Stallion herself had referenced Eminem in a derogatory manner in her 2024 song "Hiss," which includes a nod to Mariah Carey's diss track aimed at Eminem, prompting a lyrical response from him.

Despite the polarizing opinions, representatives for both artists have remained silent on the issue. Eminem's song "Houdini" marks the lead single from his upcoming album, "The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce)," signaling a bold continuation of his legacy of stirring controversy through music.