Eminem’s new song: “Unaccommodating” is ‘not made for the squeamish’

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On January 17th, Eminem surprised fans with the unexpected release of his 11th album, “Music to Be Murdered By.” The album had mixed reviews due to the dark references throughout all 20 songs on the album. Typically, Eminem’s music is known for pushing the boundaries. From rapping about rape and misogyny in “Slim Shady LP” (1999) to his more recent album “Kamikaze” (2018) where he uses homophobic slurs when addressing rapper, Tyler, the Creator. However, some critics believe Eminem may have gone too far with his latest release. 

In one of the most debated songs from the album entitled, “Unaccommodating”, Eminem references the bombing at the Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester, England 4 years ago. 22 people were killed by the suicide bombing attack. The lyrics, as described by Rolling Stones is, “a half-assed allusion” with the verse: “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” 

Although Eminem’s attempt with the album was to bring awareness to ending gun violence, the mayor of Manchester commented that the song was “unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful” the BBC reported. Despite the controversy surrounding Eminem, days after the Manchester attack, the artist teamed up with the British Red Cross and raised over $2 million for victims. He also, within the disputed lyrics, compares himself to controversial political leaders: Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Osama “Been Laden” (referring to being heavily loaded or weighed down). Eminem continues to name-drop various artists throughout the song to make himself seem superior. Thus, making the Ariana Grande concert line even more of an unimportant verse he just rapped.

Another song on the album, “Darkness” has gruesome references to the Las Vegas mass shootings in 2017. The song starts with a sample from Simon and Garfunkel’s, “The Sound of Silence” and continues with the motif of loneliness and entrapment. Eminem even includes his infamous use of curtain symbolism when he sings, “I can feel the curtains closin” which appear on three of his album covers (The Eminem Show, Encore, and Curtain Call: The Hits). Initially, the song appears to be about depression and anxiety until Eminem begins to allude that he is inside the mind of the gunman responsible for the shooting. 

With the Simon and Garfunkel verses repeating throughout, he begins to add in lines like: “feels like I’m loathing in Vegas” and “But I’d make you this small wager/If I bet you I’ll be in tomorrow’s paper/Who would the odds favor?”The curtain motif could also be seen as the curtains from the apartment where the gunman shot down onto the crowd. The curtains are repeated throughout the song, “people start to show up, time to start the show up/its 10:15 pm and the curtains start to go up.” The song ends with news station compilations from the Las Vegas attack and multiple school shootings and Eminem’s message for creating this song becomes crystal clear with the statement: “when will it end?” in the last shot of the music video.   

Although these songs are controversial, it seems clear that Eminem will continue to surprise listeners with the lyrics he comes up with. Both “Unaccommodating” and “Darkness” bring attention back to these horrible attacks and that there needs to be a change in today’s society in regards to gun violence, but whether it was sung in the right context is still up for discussion, keeping the topic fresh in people’s minds. Wasn’t that the point to begin with?