Ten years after writing he “sided” with Chris Brown when the singer pleaded guilty to felony assault, Eminem has offered an apology to Rihanna with his new song, “Zeus.” In the Music To Be Murdered By track, Eminem raps, “But, me, long as I re-promise to be honest / And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna / For that song that leaked, I’m sorry, Ri / It wasn’t meant to cause you grief.”
“Regardless, it was wrong of me,” he ends the verse. In November 2019, an unreleased track from Eminem allegedly recorded in 2009 during during sessions for Relapse leaked on Reddit. “Of course I side with Chris Brown, I’d beat a bitch down too,” Eminem raps in a snippet from the song, also claiming that she had a “VD.” The diss track didn’t make the final cut on the album. A reworked version of the verse appeared on B.o.B.’s “Things Get Worse” in 2011.
Former Interscope executive Dennis Dennehy told XXL after the leak: “This is a leak of something that’s over ten years old. After Eminem recorded it, he scrapped it and rewrote it. He and Rihanna have a great relationship.” Eminem and Rihanna are frequent collaborators, teaming up for hits like “Numb” (2012) and “The Monster” (2013). Their biggest hit — “Love The Way You Lie” came just one year after Eminem scrapped his diss track.
It’s an overdue apology, considering what Eminem “sided” with Chris over. The “No Guidance” singer brutally assaulted his then-girlfriend, Rihanna in a car after the 2009 Grammy Awards, leaving her with a black eye, swollen lip, and other injuries that required hospitalization. Chris was charged with felony assault and sentenced to five years probation and 1400 hours of community service, and completed anger management courses.
Rihanna opened up about the attack months later in an interview with ABC, saying that they started arguing after she saw texts from another woman on his phone. “There was no person when I looked at him [as he hit me],” she told Diane Sawyer. “He had no soul in his eyes. Just blank.” Rihanna and Chris reconciled in 2012, recording “Birthday Cake” for her album Talk That Talk. Though they didn’t rekindle their romance, it hasn’t stopped Chris from trying to win her back over the years.