In 2018, Eminem faced a wave of backlash over the scathing Kamikaze diss track "Fall." Though the record took aim at a number of hip-hop figures, including Joe Budden and Lord Jamar, Em's attack on the Tyler, the Creator was by far the most controversial, as it was widely criticized as homophobic: "Tyler create nothin', I see why you called yourself a f----t, bitch," he rapper. "It’s not just ‘cause you lack attention, it’s ‘cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sacrilegious."
But it appears Tyler wasn't too fazed by the lyrics, according to his interview with The Guardian.
"Did you ever hear me publicly say anything about that? Because I knew what the intent was," the Flower Boy artist explained. "He felt pressured because people got offended for me. Don’t get offended for me. We were playing Grand Theft Auto when we heard that. We rewound it and were like: 'Oh.' And then kept playing."
Eminem later expressed regret over the lyrics, saying it was an ill-conceived response to Tyler's criticism of "Walk on Water."
"When Tyler tweeted out the thing about 'Walk on Water,' 'this fucking song is horrible.' I was like alright, 'I need to say something now,'" Em told Sway in a 2018 interview. "Because this is fucking stupid. I'm not going let everybody just... I'm not gonna be America's punching bag."
He continued: "I was angry when I said the shit about Tyler. [...] The word that I called him on... that song was one of the things where I felt like, this might be too far. Because in my quest to hurt him, I realized that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it."
Before he began referencing his own same-sex attraction, Tyler also faced accusations of homophobia. In fact, his previous use of gay slurs was cited as one of the reasons for his ban from the United Kingdom.
In 2015, former Prime Minister Theresa May blasted Tyler's music for encouraging "violence and intolerance of homosexuality." Because of his controversial lyrics, Tyler was prohibited from entering the U.K. for three to five years.
"People knew the intent," told The Guardian about May's criticism. "That tree over there could be a faggot! Who hasn’t played Call Of Duty online and heard some 11-year-old call you that because you killed him? You knew the intent behind it and then people were faking, like, he’s homophobic? That was pissing me off. It’s just another word."
Tyler's U.K. ban has since been lifted.
"She’s gone, so I’m back," Tyler said of May. "It’s been four years since I’ve been back. Since this beautiful, flawless black skin was allowed in the country ... People don’t realize that all the stupid shit they did, no one knows about it but the three people in their hometown. All the stupid shit I did, or said, was public."
You can read the full Guardian interview here.