Inside Will Smith and Eminem’s Feud. Eminem explains why he dissed Will Smith in The Real Slim Shady

Get the details behind rapper Eminem’s feud with Will Smith including what many people never knew about their beef.

Eminem is no stranger to feuding with other celebrities. Throughout his career, Marshall Mathers has called out everyone from fellow rappers to popstars to actors.

One of his most well-known beefs was with superstar Will Smith. Many fans recall that Em figured Smith was dissing him during an acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs. But according to DJ Jazzy Jeff, there’s more to the story going back years before Smith ever talked about not swearing in his videos. Here’s what he says went down that not many people knew about.
(L) Eminem, (R) Will Smith(L) Eminem | Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic,. (R) Will Smith | Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Will Smith’s acceptance speech rubbed Eminem the wrong way

It all started (or so we thought) at the 1999 VMAs when the “Miami” artist beat out the “My Name Is” rapper in the Best Male Video category. When he accepted the award Smith mentioned that he never had to curse in any of his songs in order to collect hardware.

Eminem took that as a personal dig at him since the only other artists in the category were Lenny Kravitz for the song “Fly Away” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” neither of which include any expletives.

It should be noted that Eminem took home the award for “The Real Slim Shady” in that same category the very next year. But in ’99, he was less than thrilled with Smith’s words and decided to respond with a diss.

Eminem fires back, Smith waits years to respond

EminemEminem | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Eminem did what he does best and took a couple of jabs at Smith. He hit back in “The Real Slim Shady” with the lines: “Will Smith doesn’t have to cuss to sell records / Well, I do / So f*ck him. And f*ck you too.”

The 8 Mile star then mocked the Independence Day actor by bringing his name up in the music video for “Forgot About Dre.” In one part of the video, the music stops and a supposedly drunk Eminem tells the reporter character: “Yeah, all I know is I’m upstairs and I’m listening to my Will Smith CD and I seen all these flames.”

The feud continued when Smith decided to finally fire back at the “Lose Yourself” rapper in his 2005 song “Mr. Nice Guy” with the rhymes:

“Mr. Nice Guy, relationship advice guy…Light on the vices, priceless smile…Look at the eyes, got the look…Of a survivor, husband, father…Dissed by Eminem but didn’t bother him…Yup well he classy…Big Will just get another 20 mill’ walk right past E…I’ma nice guy why ya’ll harassing me, huh!”

There’s more to the story according to DJ Jazzy Jeff

DJ Jazzy Jeff aka Jeff Townes and The Fresh Prince aka Will SmithDJ Jazzy Jeff aka Jeff Townes and The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith | Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

Years later, Smith’s buddy DJ Jazzy Jeff aka Jeff Townes, let fans in on a little secret by revealing in an interview with Montreality that Smith and Eminem actually met and spoke years before their feud started. Townes explained that it’s possible Em didn’t appreciate Smith’s blunt feedback then.

“I was a big fan of Eminem, especially of his super early stuff,” Townes said. “I just kinda reached out to him, ‘Yo man, big fan. Would love to do some stuff.’ And he ended up comin’ to Philly and we went in the studio, and just knocked out some stuff.”

Townes continued, “It was crazy because that was one of the times that Will was in town. Will walked into the room, and I think I played ‘Just The Two Of Us.’ Will listened to it, and Will looked at Eminem and said, ‘You are either gonna be the biggest flop in hip hop, or you are gonna be the biggest thing that we have ever seen in hip hop. And Eminem never forgot that.”

Eminem explains why he dissed Will Smith in The Real Slim Shady

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS/dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo

If you’ve ever wondered why Eminem dissed Will Smith in his 2000 hit song ‘The Real Slim Shady, then here’s your answer.

Listen to the rapper explaining his beef with the Fresh Prince star in an interview below:

Look, let’s stop beating around the bush, whether you like Marshall Mathers or not, you probably know all the words to ‘The Real Slim Shady’.

Still, no matter how many times we screamed the lyrics in a club, one line has always confused us, why did Eminem diss Will Smith?

For the very few not familiar with the song, there’s a verse that takes aim at the Fresh Prince: “Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records / Well I do, so f**k him and f**k you too / You think I give a damn about a Grammy / Half of you critics can’t even stomach me / Let alone stand me.”

Eminem spoke openly about the verse. Credit: DOD Photo/Alamy Stock PhotoEminem spoke openly about the verse. Credit: DOD Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

It’s not exactly clear when Eminem and Smith’s feud started, but according to the Fresh Prince’s mate DJ Jazzy Jeff it could’ve been pretty early on in the Detroit rapper’s career.

According to Jazzy Jeff, Smith said to Eminem after hearing a ‘Just The Two Of Us’ that he was “either gonna be the biggest flop in hip hop, or you are gonna be the biggest thing that we have ever seen in hip hop.”

This was something the DJ said that Eminem never forgot and the tension seemed to rise after Smith gave a speech at the 1999 Video Music Awards (VMAs).

Smith’s song ‘Miami’ (a bop) beat out Eminem’s ‘My Name Is’ for the Best Male Video award that year.

And it’s safe to say that his acceptance speech rubbed Eminem up the wrong way, with Smith saying: “To all my fans out there, I never killed nobody in none of my records. I never used no profanity and none of my records, and still, I managed to get up here. Peace.”

It was a response to Will's comments at the VMAs. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock PhotoIt was a response to Will’s comments at the VMAs. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

When questioned about his lyrics, the ‘Lose Yourself’ rapper said in an interview: “First of all, I used to respect Will Smith. [Now] he’s dissed the whole genre of rap. He dissed gangsta rap music.

“And that is one of the most influential musics out there. I respect him for saying his opinion, but not everybody is as happy as Will Smith.

“Not everybody sees life as happy and as positive as he sees it. So if he wants to rap about birds and bees and flowers, then let him rap about birds and bees and flowers, but don’t dis nobody else.”

So, there you have it, Eminem meant what he said in his song, but still, people were quick to react to his ‘happy as Will Smith’ comment.

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