Rapper Eminem has infuriated Ariana Grande fans with a new song that mentions the terrorist bombing that killed 23 people outside the pop star’s 2017 concert in Manchester, England.
Social media lit up Friday with reaction to the rapper’s album that dropped on Thursday night, “Music to Be Murdered By.” The record is rife with references to controversial figures, including serial killer John Wayne Gacy and slain child beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey. Eminem mentions the Manchester Arena bombing in his song “Unaccommodating.”
“I’m contemplating yelling ‘Bombs away’ on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” he raps on the track before a bombing sound effect.
Grande’s fans on Twitter called Eminem “trash,” “disgusting,” “sick” and worse:
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told BBC News the rapper’s reference to the bombing “is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.” A resident of the city called a U.K. radio show to challenge Eminem to perform the “offensive” song in Manchester.
Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was killed in the attack, tweeted that she felt Eminem was “piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities.” Murray said the lyrics made “no sense” and said she’ll ignore the “insults I may receive from his fans.”
Eminem has a long history of stirring controversy with his music, and some argued he’s using his new record to advocate for gun control and to denounce violence. The music video for another song on the album, “Darkness,” speaks from the point of view of the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre and shows TV reports on various mass shootings.
While defending his intentions, Eminem fans pointed out that he helped raise money for victims of the Manchester attack:
Eminem helped raise over £1.8 million, or $2.34 million, for the relief efforts, according to The Telegraph.
Neither Grande nor Eminem have commented publicly about the backlash. HuffPost has reached out to both for comment.