Pop singer Sia will donate the money she earns from “Beautiful Pain,” a track she recorded with Eminem for his latest LP, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. Her decision follows her fans scrutinizing her collaboration with Eminem after it was revealed the rapper uses homophobic slurs on the album. Since the Australian artist identifies herself as “queer,” she has decided the proceeds she receives from the track should benefit homeless LGBT youth.
She was alerted to Eminem’s slurs by HuffPost blogger Keo Nozari, who tweeted his disappointment at her. He cited the lyrics “Break a motherfucker’s table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half,” in the song “Rap God.” She replied by saying, “I know personally that he is not homophobic, but a performance artist. I would never work with someone I believed to be homophobic. I respect that he can be misinterpreted in the worst way by the ignorami, and that scares me, but I respect him as an artist and person.” She continued to stick up for Eminem, saying that his Slim Shady character represents the “worst and darkest bile of America” and that it can be hard to distinguish the character from the rapper.
After some back and forth with Nozari, she wrote, “I am queer, and I love my queers, young and old.” Later she added, “I thought Slim Shady had been put to bed.” She concluded that she’ll think about their discussion. Today, she announced she would donate the money to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
When Rolling Stone spoke with Eminem this year, he addressed his penchant for homophobic phrases. “When I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words . . .” he said, allowing Rolling Stone to finish by saying, “to actually mean ‘homosexual.'” He also said, “I think people know my personal stance on things and the personas that I create in my music. And if someone doesn’t understand that by now, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to change their mind about it.”