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Since the start of his long and successful career, Eminem has attracted attention for his controversial and sometimes homophobic lyrics. With the release of the “Rap God” single, Slim Shady finds himself explaining once more why homophobia plays such a large role in his musical output.

Sitting with Rolling Stone, the Detroit rhymer has been buzzing in the media as he prepares to release his eight studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, on Tuesday (Oct. 5). Although Em has appeared onstage with gay entertainer Elton John, held an interview with Anderson Cooper and has been targeted for his verses, he continues to claim he has no issue with gays and stresses he’s offering a persona.

From Rolling Stone:

It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people. And, not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all.

And 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.

The 14-year veteran covers Rolling Stone‘s  upcoming issue, which hits newsstands on November 22.

Photo: AP