Eminem's New 'Music to Be Murdered By: Side B' Album: Noteworthy Disses, References, and Tributes

Eminem manages to work in a number of disses, of course, but also gets introspective with tribute messages to King Von and victims of police brutality.

eminem mtbmb references

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 30: Eminem attends a ceremony honoring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 30, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

eminem mtbmb references

Eminem's January-released eleventh studio album Music to Be Murdered By received a deluxified Side B companion piece on Friday. 

As usual, the album includes a number of potential headline-spawning lines from the 48-year-old Shady co-founder. Atypical for an Em album rollout, however, is the fact that the most-discussed track so far—the White Gold-featuring "Zeus"—is notable for including an apology from the artist about a decade-old track that leaked in 2019.

Uncle Alfred heard you screaming for more... enjoy Side B. https://t.co/Ebt0AqnCk2 pic.twitter.com/xCu4nueIvP

— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) December 18, 2020

The leak in question, as was widely reported at the time, saw Em rapping "Of course I side with Chris Brown." In "Zeus," Em offers a "wholehearted" apology to Rihanna.

Across the rest of the new album, out everywhere now, the 2003 Oscar winner makes mention of a range of other artists. Not all of these mentions, it should be noted, qualify as disses. Em also speaks on police brutality protests, mid-pandemic MAGA rallies, and more.

Below, we've rounded up a list of key moments from the second chapter of Music to Be Murdered By.

On "Zeus," featuring White Gold, Eminem offers an apology to Rihanna for that aforementioned Chris Brown lyric:

"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"

In the third verse of "Zeus," Eminem reflects on his years in the game, saying he's seen the "hugest debuts" while also seeing other artists come and go. Though not a diss, he warns Drake that—according to his own experiences—the public will eventually turn on him too:

"And, Drake, they're gonna turn on you one day too

And the more you win, the sooner they do"

Also in "Zeus," Machine Gun Kelly gets an early mention as Eminem ponders someone who believes MGK came out on top in their infamous public feud:

"Fair weather, wishy-washy

She thinks Machine washed me

Swear to God, man, her favorite rapper wish he’d crossed me"

And on "Gnat," the official video for which can be found below, Em seemingly references MGK in the chorus:

"They come at me with machine guns

Like trying to fight off a gnat"

View this video on YouTube


In the third verse of "These Demons" with MAJ, Eminem poses a rhyme-based inquiry to listeners that's been widely interpreted as a continuation of the Em x Mariah saga:

"I got a question

What rhymes with pariah?"

In the last verse of "Zeus," which is stacked with name-drops, Em mentions Snoop while seemingly responding to comments he made earlier this year about Em's legacy.

"I'm diplomatic 'cause I'm tryin' to be

Last thing I need is Snoop doggin' me

Man, dog, you was like a damn god to me

Man, not really, I had dog backwards"

The very first line of "Zeus," as mentioned above, sees Em imagining a conversation with someone whose taste in music he rejects:

"She says I am trash, but she listens to Tekashi 

Bitch, you lost me"

Back in May 2019, Billie Eilish reflected on how Eminem "freaked the fuck out of me" as a child. Though not a diss, Em references this interview comment in "Alfred's Theme":

"But really I'm just fulfilling my wish of killing rhymes

Which is really childish and silly but I'm really like this

I’m giving nightmares to Billie Eilish"

Back to "Zeus" again, we hear a mention of Chance the Rapper as Eminem continues the career-based warnings that also saw him mention Drake earlier in the third verse:

"They'll be calling you a trash bin

Sayin' that your new one isn't better than your last and

Even if it is, once they start to turn their backs

They ain't never comin' back in

They did it to Chance"

Again in "Zeus," Em continues his warnings, this time giving Future a shout:

"Next they'll be mentioning Future in the past tense"

Concluding his third-verse "Zeus" wisdom, Em adds Migos to the list:  

"Or sayin' adiós to Migos

I ain't dissin', I'm just tryna keep this shit a C-note"

In Eminem's opinion, the chance of police catching him in a theoretical "hot pursuit" is about as slim as 50 Cent calling a truce with Ja Rule, per "Discombobulated":

"The day they catch me is the day 50 will call a truce

And quash the feud with him and Ja and Ja'll actually spit a bar"

Nas gets a shout-out in "Discombobulated," with Em mentioning "Live at the Barbeque." On the DJ Premier-featuring "Book of Rhymes," meanwhile, Em nods to Nas in the title (i.e. Nas' God's Son track of the same name) and appears to have included a sample by way of Premier.

View this video on YouTube



Toward the end of the third verse of "Tone Deaf," Eminem pays tribute to the late King Von, who was shot and killed in November:

"And R.I.P. to King Von, and it don't stop, and I know not"

In response to the question of whether he will "stick to his guns," Eminem delivers a line about Cosby, who is currently incarcerated after being found guilty of multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault:

"Does Bill Cosby sedate once he treats to cheesecake and a decent steak?"

Also in "Tone Deaf," Em follows the Cosby line with a similar reference to Harvey Weinstein, who's also currently incarcerated after being arrested and charged with rape in 2018:

"I'm harder than findin' Harvey Weinstein a date"

There are several examples of Em showing his support for police brutality protests on Music to Be Murdered By - Side B. In "These Demons," he opens the second verse with a line about the economic impact of the pandemic before rapping "Black people dyin, they want equal rights."

And on "Zeus," Em says "Black people saved my life" and offers special R.I.P. mentions to police brutality victims including Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner:

"All that we want is racial equality

R.I.P. Laquan McDonald, Trayvon, and Breonna

Atatiana, Rayshard, and Dominique

Eric Garner and Rodney King

No, we can't get along 'til these white motherfuckin' cops

Who keep murderin' Blacks are off the streets"

After mentioning his support for police brutality protests in "These Demons," Eminem mocks MAGA supporters who have taken to the streets during the pandemic era:

"This pandemic got us in a recession

We need to reopen America

Black people dyin', they want equal rights

White people wanna get haircuts

Some people protest, some people riot

But we ain't never escapin' this virus"


In the first verse of "Favorite Bitch," Eminem agrees that there's nothing "funny" about the Manchester Arena bombing, the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert that he previously mentioned on the first chapter of MTBMB:

"And I know nothing is funny about the Manchester bombing

But we got something in common, both of us are alarming"


The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing also gets referenced on "Favorite Bitch," with Eminem arguing that his metaphorical damage would be worse:

"I could give the Boston Marathon a run for its money

And you could say I'm a little bit immature"

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