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Eminem vs. Nick Cannon: A feud 10 years in the making

(L-R) Eminem and Nick Cannon.
(L-R) Eminem and Nick Cannon. CP Images Archive

WARNING: This article contains coarse language and may be offensive or inappropriate for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.

From Ja Rule to Limp Bizkit to Machine Gun Kelly — and back to Ja Rule — Eminem is notorious for holding grudges against those he feels have done him wrong in the past, as evidenced by his ever-expanding catalogue of diss tracks.

Once again, the American rapper, also known as Marshall Mathers, has reignited an old feud — this time with entertainer Nick Cannon.

While featuring on a song from the recently-released Family Ties album by Fat Joe and Dre, 47-year-old Eminem made it clear he’s held onto the decade-long beef between him and Cannon.

Though their bickering stopped for nine years, the new track Lord Above suggests Eminem isn’t finished with the former Nickelodeon host.

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In the span of only four days, it seems things have picked up right where they left off in the 10-year feud. In response to Lord Above, Cannon, 39, has come back at Eminem with two of his own diss tracks, The Invitation and Pray for Him.

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Why did the musicians start feuding in the first place? Here’s how it all began and where the stars stand now:

May 15, 2009: Eminem drops ‘Bagpipes from Baghdad’

On May 15, 2009, Eminem released his sixth studio album, Relapse (2009). It included the track Bagpipes from Baghdad, which called out Mariah Carey and Cannon, who was her husband from 2008 to 2016.

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Throughout his career, Eminem has rapped about a brief relationship he claims to have had with Carey. She has denied on multiple occasions that they were ever together.

On the diss track that started it all, Eminem raps: “Mariah, what’s ever happened to us / Why did we have to break up?

Mariah Carey in Europe for the first time after 13 years live at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan on April 16, 2016 during the ‘Sweet Sweet Fantasy’ tour.
Mariah Carey in Europe for the first time after 13 years live at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan on April 16, 2016 during the ‘Sweet Sweet Fantasy’ tour. Getty Images Europe

“I can’t imagine what’s going through your mind after such / A nasty breakup with that Latin hunk / Luis Miguel, Nick Cannon better back the f–k up / Nick, you had your fun / I’ve come to kick you in your sack of junk.”

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Less than 24 hours later, Cannon posted a threatening post to Tumblr in response. The since-deleted post was entitled “How cute.”

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“I’m taking full action on you, Eminem,” he wrote. “I don’t know why no one has stood up to you yet. But I guess it’s going to take a corny, wack, rapping boy toy from Nickelodeon to set you straight.

“And trust. I am going to be relentless. Even though I got a lot of other obligations and occupations, you are my new full-time job ‘homey’! This is my invitation to you, whenever and wherever you like, sir.”

Though it was a decade later, Cannon’s “invitation” indeed came, as promised.

June 16, 2009: Carey retaliates with ‘Obsessed’ music video

Carey also got involved in the feud by releasing the smash-hit song Obsessed only a month later. It was the lead single from her 12th studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009).

Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey, 2008.
Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey, 2008. John Barrett/PHOTOlink /Courtesy Everett Collection

Though it has not been explicitly confirmed the song was written about Eminem and his alleged “obsession” with Carey, many fans of the All I Want for Christmas Is You songstress believe it was and see it as a retaliation against him for mocking not only her, but her then-spouse.

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In the Obsessed music video, Carey is even seen donning an outfit similar to the one Eminem wore in the Relapse era of his career.

July 30, 2009: Eminem doesn’t hold back against the celebrity couple on ‘The Warning’

It wasn’t long thereafter that Eminem hit back against both Cannon and Carey with another diss track, this one called, The Warning.

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The rage-fuelled track serves as an all-out attack against the pair: in just over three minutes, Eminem makes a multitude of claims, suggesting he has proof he was once romantically involved with Carey.

“Only reason I dissed you in the first place / Is ’cause you denied seeing me / I’m obsessed now? Oh gee / Is that supposed to be me in the video with the goatee? / How many times you fly to my house, still tryin’ to count,” Eminem raps.

Eminem performs in concert during the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Oct. 11, 2014 in Austin, Texas.
Eminem performs in concert during the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Oct. 11, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Gary Miller/FilmMagic

September 2010: Cannon challenges Eminem to a boxing match

Before taking a nine-year break from his feud with Eminem — and divorcing Carey — Cannon hit back one last time against his fellow rapper with a follow-up diss track entitled, I’m a Slick Rick.

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The song generally received negative reviews, and the artists’ beef entered a hiatus.

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In another attempt to provoke Eminem, Cannon later took to Facebook to tease a charity boxing match between the two.

“The time has come! Boys talk the talk, but men walk the walk,” Cannon wrote. “Nick has laid down the challenge to meet Eminem in the ring.”

The fight never happened. The post has since been deleted, according to Complex, and Eminem never responded to it.

Sept. 19, 2019: Cannon makes further claims about his beef with Eminem on T.I.’s podcast

During an appearance on American rapper T.I.‘s podcast, ExpidiTIously, Cannon was asked about the history of the feud and what had happened.

“I think we were flying back on a jet from Africa, and [Eminem] drops a song, talking s–t, calling Mariah all kinds of b—hes and h–s. I’m like, ‘This is my wife. This is my new wife,'” Cannon said.
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“So I wrote this letter pretty much saying: ‘Look, I respect you as an artist. I’m actually a fan and I think you’re one of the best to ever do it… But from man to man, you’re talking out of pocket to my wife. You gotta be held accountable for that so I need to see you face to face.’”

Cannon later claimed Eminem apologized to him after releasing Bagpipes from Baghdad. The former TV host added that his own diss tracks were just to “have some fun with it” and that he still respects Eminem and considers him one of his “top five” rappers.

Dec. 6, 2019: Fat Joe and Dre release collaborative album ‘Family Ties’

Fast-forward to earlier this month, and Eminem is featured on the single Lord Above alongside American musician Mary J. Blige.

Yet again, the musician rapped about his alleged history with Carey, later referring to Cannon in expletive-laden lyrics which challenged his masculinity.

Cannon responded to Eminem on Instagram the following day, mocking his career.

@FatJoe album is star-studded,” he wrote. “He even did some charity work and dug @Eminem out his grave… I mean cave.”
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Dec. 9, 2019: Cannon releases ‘The Invitation,’ a decade after promise

Cannon then came back at Eminem with The Invitation, a heavily autotuned retaliation track that features vocals from Marion “Suge” Knight, who is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence.

In the song, Cannon references Eminem’s history of drug abuse and even calls out his family, including daughter Hailie Mathers.

 

Only a few hours later, Eminem responded to Cannon in a couple of Twitter posts.

Along with a clown emoji, the first tweet read: “U mad bro? Stop lying… I never even had a chauffeur…” The tweet references a line in The Invitation that alleges Eminem’s chauffeur saw him engaging in sexual activity with another man.

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Dec. 10, 2019: Cannon releases another diss track — ‘Pray For Him’ — with The Black Squad

Before even giving Eminem a chance to come back with a diss track, Cannon recruited artists Charlie Clips, Hitman Holla, Conceited and Prince Eazy to help him record Pray For Him, the most recent diss track in the long-winded feud.

Each of the rappers takes a turn between verses and an interlude. In the final verse, however, Cannon goes off on Eminem one more time, claiming that despite his songs condemning U.S. President Donald Trump, he secretly supports him.

“You used to be in a position to talk to kids and they listen / Now you a politician? / You voted for Trump, admit it,” Cannon raps.

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Cannon followed up with a line suggesting his opponent’s lyrics are all simply product of “Tourettes and hysterics.”

He continued: “Now you’re debated, disputed, hated / And viewed in America as a motherf–kin’ drug addict / You’ll never be a legend.”

Eminem raps out his rage against Trump
Eminem raps out his rage against Trump

Lord Above, The Invitation and Pray For Him are now available through all major streaming platforms.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca