James O'Brien's reaction to Eminem's Manchester Arena bombing lyrics

17 January 2020, 12:50

James O'Brien gave his reaction to the rapper's controversial lyrics which referenced the Manchester Arena bombing.

James shared a memory of interviewing Eminem 20 years ago on the advent him becoming a sensation in the UK and remarked that the controversy was "difficult for him to negotiate".

Eminem's lyrics are: "I’m contemplating yelling ‘Bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting."

"The terrorist attack at that Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena shook us to our core," said James, "there was something so completely despicable about the idea of targeting happy children that it shook us in ways that even other terrorist atrocities haven't shaken us. Eminem has decided to reference this on his latest album."

After talking about this attack, Eminem compares himself to others including Saddam Hussein and James questions, "He's just doing what Eminem does, isn't he? What do you do if someone is deliberately trying to offend you for money or clicks?"

"I really don't like this at all. I'd file it under utterly unnecessary," said James, observing that the album could be in no way enhanced by the reference to the "human detritus" that was responsible for this attack.

"Eminem has always sought to shock in whatever way possible," he continued, "I really don't like this but that is just me being of an age and an outlook where artists setting out to be deliberately shocking and deliberately provocative and deliberately outrageous, very occasionally they get to me and I am actually shocked."