On Wednesday, Eminem dropped a new seven-minute song called “Campaign Speech” seemingly out of the blue, and like a lot of Eminem songs, it featured him name-dropping a handful of celebrities. Donald Trump, Robin Thicke, and Colin Kaepernick all made the cut.
But the celebrity shout-out that raised the most eyebrows in the sports community came near the end of the song when Eminem devoted about 30 seconds to rapping about ESPN First Take moderator Molly Qerim. Here’s what he said:
My patience is wearing thin/
Swear I been contemplatin' rubbing shit in your face ’til I smear it in/
Diss you in every lyric until you fear the pen/
And never appear again/
If you actually had fucking careers to end/
But then I think of Molly Qerim and I steer ‘em in that direction and forget my ideas for them/
Molly, I’m gone off you/
Man, light some kush/
You’re my first take, I’ll nail you/
Can’t lie, I gush/
If I won you over, you would be the grand prize/
I’m entranced by your looks, come and give the Shady franchise a push/
You can get it in the can like some Anheuser-Busch/
Jeans too small, least three pant sizes tush/
Mushed against your damn side, your puss/
And thighs are squished…
This is hardly the first time Eminem has said something like this about a female celebrity on a song, but within just minutes of the track being released, there were more than a few people tagging Jalen Rose—who is currently dating Qerim—on Twitter and asking what he thought about the rapper name-dropping his girlfriend. Like Eminem, Rose is from Detroit, so people immediately started to wonder if Eminem had some sort of beef with Rose and called for Rose to respond:
We actually thought Rose would ignore what Eminem said, but on Wednesday’s episode of ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby, Rose addressed it and said that he’s not upset at all about Eminem including a shout-out to Qerim on "Campaign Speech." He did say that he was taken aback the first time he heard Qerim’s name mentioned, but he explained that he didn’t see the shout-out the same way that a lot of other people did. Here’s the interaction that Rose and his co-host David Jacoby had about the song:
Rose: ["Campaign Speech" is] really long, but I made it through the end. No question about it. And I’ve heard it multiple times. It’s fire. Bars. He mentions Molly Qerim, and I have people hitting me up thinking that it’s some sort of diss towards me. Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time. He’s a fellow Detroiter. We are 100. That’s how we do it. She’s educated, talented, and beautiful—a public figure that’s doing a terrific job on a really popular show called First Take. So guess what’s going to happen? She deserves to have so many people giving her positive attention and props. That’s love!
Jacoby: It’s not disrespect if someone else finds your significant other attractive. It is not disrespect. It would be disrespect if he name-checked you or if he acknowledged that the two of you were dating but still said the things he said. But I’m going to guess that he didn’t know the two of you were dating when he recorded it.
Rose: And how about this? Many people speak their admiration in different ways of articulation.
Jacoby: His is very different.
Rose: So for him, that’s just his version of a love letter giving her a shout-out and name-checking her in a really popular record that’s a terrific freestyle. I can’t wait for the album. I follow him on Twitter, and it’s all love.
Jacoby: The translation, if you translate Eminem to English, it’s 'Hey, I find this woman on television attractive.' If you read the transcription, you’re like, 'Whoa, this is, um, this is extra.' But the translation from Eminem to English is 'That’s a very attractive woman on television.'
Rose: Well said. What needs to happen is, as a fellow Detroiter, that means I’m doing a poor job and I need to get her to more Eminem shows so we can go represent.
Jacoby: You have to admit: When you heard it, you felt a certain way.
Rose: Well, here’s the thing. As somebody that’s fortunate enough to be name-checked on the record, it’s about who’s shouting you out. And so, I actually heard the record not knowing that she was going to be name-checked in it. I follow him on Twitter. So when he released it, I clicked on it as fast as anybody.
Jacoby: Of course. One of the greatest rappers alive.
Rose: No question! That’s the rap god from Detroit. So I did click on it and I did listen to it all the way through and then I did press rewind a couple of times. But it’s all love. It’s all positive. We need to get to some shows and represent.
You can head here to listen to the Jalen & Jacoby podcast in its entirety. Qerim still hasn’t responded to the shout-out yet, but if you missed the interview we did with her back in January, you can check it out here.