Craig McDean / Billboard

Eminem Opens Up About Apology to Rihanna on ‘Zeus’

In December, Eminem surprised fans when he unveiled the deluxe version of his Music to be Murdered By album.

On “Zeus,” the rapper referenced his “Love the Way You Lie” collaborator Rihanna when he stated, “And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna / For that song that leaked, I’m sorry, Ri / It wasn’t meant to cause you grief.”

The apology was in response to a controversial verse about Chris Brown’s 2009 assault on his then-girlfriend, which leaked the month before. The snippet of the song “Things Get Worse” — reportedly recorded during sessions for 2009’s Relapse album — featured the lyric, “I’m not playing, Rihanna, where’d you get the VD at?/ Let me add my two cents/ Of course I side with Chris Brown/ I’d beat a bi— down too/ If she gave my di– an itch now.”

While appearing on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 this week, Eminem discussed the leak. “When it first happened, I was like, first, I didn’t know how, how somebody got it,” he said. “Second of all, I have no, zero recollection of even remembering doing that, that verse, like the rhyme schemes, didn’t even sound like familiar to me.”

“So I was caught off guard too,” he continued. “I was like, ‘what the f—, I said that?'”

“It’s 10 plus years old, but I’m not making excuses for it,” he said, before adding, “I think I just said it cause it rhymed. And I think I’m sure looking back now, I should have thought better of it.”

Listen to the interview below.