A snippet of a song recording in which Eminem supports Chris Brown's violence towards Rihanna has leaked online.
According to XXL, the clip was recorded during the making of the rapper's 2009 album Relapse. "I'm not playing, Rihanna where'd you get the V.D. at?" Eminem says. "Let me add my two cents / Of course I side with Chris Brown / I'd beat a bitch down, too." Brown became infamous following his February 2009 assault of Rihanna, whom he was dating at the time.
"This is a leak of something that's over 10 years old," Eminem's spokesperson Dennis Dennehy told XXL. "After Eminem recorded it, he scrapped it and rewrote it. Obviously he and Rihanna have a great relationship."
But how do we know Em and Rih actually have a great relationship? Sure, the pair have collaborated on two No. 1 hits: "The Monster" and "Love the Way You Lie." But the lyrics of the latter—which were originally praised at the time of its 2010 release—become even more harrowing under the shadow of Eminem's newly-surfaced bolstering of Brown. Take his final line in the track: "If she ever tries to f**kin' leave again, I'ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire." Considering the media frenzy surrounding Rihanna's abuse shortly before the song dropped and the countless accounts of assault in the entertainment industry since, can we really trust that the supposed "greatness" of their relationship extended beyond their studio time?
And even in the decade-plus since committing the assault, Brown has still remained massively successful; he's continued to clock hit after hit, and fellow rapper Lil Dicky even wrote an entire song with him, "Freaky Friday," about what it'd be like to switch places with each other. "And then I began thinking, like, 'Who would I wanna switch bodies with?'" Dicky said of the 2018 song, which even pokes fun at Brown's "controversial past." "So the first person I thought of was Chris Brown." "Freaky Friday" is a perfect example of the subtle exoneration the music industry has granted Brown, as well as the tendency many men have to schmooze with their buddies, letting misogynistic behavior slide rather than demanding accountability.
Brown wouldn't still be successfully making music today if it weren't for the men that pardoned him in the wake of his headline-breaking assault. Eminem's leak might be ten years old, but the issue it exhibits is still all-too relevant in 2019. Stop giving Brown a platform, but more importantly, call out your peers' misogynistic habits before it's too late.