Has Eminem ever been associated with chill, mild lyrics? Throughout his 21 year-long career, the rapper has tread a path paved with controversial (or homophobic and misogynistic, if you feel like getting specific today) utterances and violent imagery. The victims of his lyrical ire have famously included exes, pop icons, and yeah, his own mother. When Emimen directed some of that heat towards Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka, it sparked an investigation that was triggered by a TMZ employee.
Per documents obtained by Buzzfeed, an unidentified employee of the tabloid site emailed the Secret Service regarding lyrics that alluded to the murder of Ivanka Trump, which can be heard in the predictably disturbing track “Framed” from his 2017 album Revival. The inquiry included a link to an article from The Hill, which detailed the lyrics, and what appeared to be a request for comment, asking if the agency was specifically “investigating Eminem for his threatening lyrics about First daughter Ivanka Trump.” The report, which refers to him as Marshall Mathers, cites interviews and other lyrics where the rapper was openly critical of Trump, including his heavily memed freestyle during the BET Hip-Hop Awards. The agency contacted his legal team in December of 2017 and interviewed him a month later.
But the real gem within this incident is buried towards the bottom of Buzzfeed’s report: “During the interview with Secret Service, when agents began to read the lyrics of his freestyle rap, ‘Mathers was familiar the song and began [rapping] along with the interviewers as the verse was read,’ according to the documents.” Because who doesn’t love an inappropriate, mid-investigation sing-along?
After discussing the interview, the agency decided not to refer the case to a federal judge. The incident is now just lyrical fodder, which can be heard in the song, “The Ringer”: “Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service/ To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him/ Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists / I said, ‘Only when it comes to ink and lyricists.’”