After the “Relapse” came the “Recovery.” But Eminem's decision to “put my life back together” and the redemption theme running throughout his latest album didn't keep the rapper from rhyming his notoriously foul lyrics in his new single, “Not Afraid.”
Currently at No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 list, “Not Afraid” proclaims the rapper's “decision to get clean”—but not without his customary cuss words. Eminem uses six variations of “f---,” and three of “s---,” in the 4-minute song. The song also includes crude uses of the words “crap,” “damn,” “dick” and “middle finger.”
Editor's Note: Video Contains Explicit Language
Unlike his more lighthearted videos for “The Real Slim Shady” and “Without Me,” Eminem's “Not Afraid” music video, which premiered June 5, evokes a more serious, albeit two-sided tone. The tone shifts from a crass “f--- the whole universe” to a redemption theme (“I just can't keep living this way / So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage.”)
Images of Eminem breaking through a brick wall further carry the “recovery” theme, symbolizing his battle against alcohol addiction and prescription drugs. Other signs of the rapper's desire for change: a promise to never let his fans down again and “to focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father.” (Eminem has three children, two of whom are adopted.)
While Eminem's decision to break from his addictions and become a better father is commendable, his extreme use of vulgarity causes listeners to question his sincerity. Other songs from his “Recovery” album, including “No Love” and “Won't Back Down” both include explicit language.
Eminem's life and music have long been known to be steeped in controversy. In 2001 the rapper was sentenced to two years' probation for carrying a concealed weapon in public. His songs have been widely known for its depictions of drug use, sex and violence, most notably in “Kim,” which talks about a husband kidnapping and murdering his wife.