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Secret Service Did Interview Eminem About “Threatening” Trump Lyrics, Documents Confirm

Eminem wears a hoodie and holds a microphone behind a plume of fire.
Eminem performs at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 11, 2018, in Inglewood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Eminem’s claim that the United States Secret Service questioned him over lyrics about Donald Trump has proven to be more than just big talk. On “The Ringer,” the opening track from the rapper’s 2018 album, Kamikaze, Eminem mentioned the president listening to his verses: “But I know at least he’s heard it/ ’Cause Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service/ To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him/ Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists.” Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News this week through a Freedom of Information Act request confirm that agents really did question Marshall Bruce Mathers III—aliases Eminem and Slim Shady—over lyrics from his freestyle at the BET Awards as well as the songs “Like Home” and “Framed.”

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The report specifically flags “inappropriate” lyrics about the president as well as “threatening” ones about Ivanka Trump as cause for concern. (“Donald Duck’s on, there’s a Tonka Truck in the yard/ But dog, how the fuck is Ivanka Trump in the trunk of my car?”) The interview took place in January 2018, with Eminem and legal representation present. Though the details of Eminem’s answers have been redacted, the documents do mention that he started to “rap along with the interviewers as the verse was read.” Apparently his answers were sufficient to convince the agents he did not present a serious danger, since the Secret Service took no further action.

Despite validating the claim that an interview took place, the documents do cast doubt on one of Eminem’s boasts: that the president is “a wee bit nervous” about his songs. Though Donald Trump Jr. is definitely aware of them, it’s conceivable that Trump Sr. hasn’t been paying attention to this particular drama, because the Secret Service investigation was not initiated by the White House. Instead, agents began looking into Eminem after a TMZ reporter sent an email that linked to a Hill article about the lyrics, apparently requesting comment, which was interpreted as a “concerned citizen” flagging the rapper as a potential threat.

That must come as a disappointment to Eminem, who has said that he explicitly hoped to catch the president’s attention. “I want him to answer me because I got ideas for all kinds of shit to say back to him if he does,” he told Vulture in a December 2017 interview (also cited in the Secret Service report). “I’m not going to give any away now, but I’ve got lines ready if he says something about me. I get almost flustered thinking about him—that’s how angry he makes me.”

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