Eminem is known for collaborating with all different types of artists both in and beyond hip hop and rap. And while you might not remember the collaboration between Bon Iver and Eminem exactly, you may recall Eminem’s 2018 song ‘Fall’, which used Bon Iver’s vocals. However, it seems to be a sore subject for Justin Vernon, noting his regret at working with the legendary rapper.
Although the nature of production is always a bit ambiguous, one of the reasons why Vernon was unhappy with the final result is that he wasn’t present when Eminem recorded his verse. Vernon was therefore unaware of the lyrics used by Em, which included a homophobic slur and shots fired at fellow rapper Tyler, The Creator.
The lyrics go as follows, “Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a fa***t, bitch/It’s not just ‘cause you lack attention/It’s ‘cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sac-rilegious/If you’re gonna critique me, you better at least be as good or better.”
When asked about the controversial lyrics, Vernon took to Twitter to clarify his stance on the matters at hand. He said, “Eminem is one of the best rappers of all time, there is no doubt. I have and will respect that. Tho, this is not the time to criticize Youth, it’s the time to listen. To act. It is certainly not the time for slurs. Wish they would have listened when we asked them to change it.”
He continued, “Was not in the studio for the Eminem track… came from a session with BJ Burton and Mike Will. Not a fan of the message, it’s tired. Asked them to change the track, wouldn’t do it.”
At the end, Vernon also added to his Twitter thread by saying, “I was wrong and we are gonna kill this track.” It’s unfortunate to see artists who had the potential for a unique collaboration fall short, especially in a situation like this one, where one party clearly was bothered by the insensitivity of the way the collaboration turned out.
This situation shines a light on the unfortunate nature of miscommunication in the world of creative license. However, it’s clear that not everyone feels as flippantly as Eminem does regarding the uses of certain words, and it’s something that should be discussed beforehand, especially when using someone else’s vocals for a track.
If you’re curious what the track itself sounds like, you can take a listen to ‘Fall’ by Eminem down below.