Why did Eminem diss Will Smith?
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Why did Eminem diss Will Smith?

Eminem is no stranger to a little bit of controversy. Whether it’s backlash from his profanity-filled lyrics or a feud with his hip-hop peers, the Detroit rapper has undoubtedly rubbed many individuals up the wrong way.

Over the years, the 8 Mile emcee has lashed out at several individuals and in his 2000 hit song ‘The Real Slim Shady,’ the Aftermath artist aimed at Will Smith. However, few know why.

Mathers’ track ‘The Real Slim Shady’ was released as the lead single for his third project, The Marshall Mathers LP and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It won the Detroit lyricist a Grammy award for ‘Best Rap Solo Performance’ and, as such, put a spotlight on his Will Smith attack. 

During the track, Mathers raps, “Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records / Well I do, so f*ck him and f*ck you too / You think I give a damn about a Grammy / Half of you critics can’t even stomach me / Let alone stand me.”

It’s unclear to many why Eminem aimed at Smith. However, according to the Fresh Prince’s former partner in crime, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Mathers’ gripe with the Philadelphia native could have begun early in the Detroit rapper’s career.

According to Jazzy Jeff (real name Jeffrey Townes), Smith once said to Eminem that he would either be “the biggest flop in hip-hop, or the biggest thing that we have ever seen in hip-hop.”

In 1999, Will Smith gave an acceptance speech after winning the ‘Best Male Video’ award at the VMAs, during which he called out MCs who recklessly use profanity, proclaiming, “To all my fans out there, I never killed nobody in none of my records. I never used no profanity in none of my records, and still, I managed to get up here. Peace.”

The speech gave Eminem the impression Smith was firing shots at rappers who use expletives. Following the speech, during an interview, Mathers stated, “First of all, I used to respect Will Smith. [Now] he’s dissed the whole genre of rap. He dissed gangsta rap music.”

He continued, “And that is one of the most influential musicians out there. I respect him for saying his opinion, but not everybody is as happy as Will Smith. Not everybody sees life as happy and as positive as he sees it. So if he wants to rap about birds and bees and flowers, then let him rap about birds and bees and flowers, but don’t diss nobody else.”

You can hear Eminem’s diss on ‘The Real Slim Shady’ in the video below.