Eminem Hates One Of His Songs So Much He No Longer Performs It At Shows

Eminem hates his song 'Cleanin' Out My Closet' so much that he no longer performs it at shows.
Credit: Alamy

Eminem hates one of his own songs so much that he no longer performs it at his shows.

The Detroit rapper, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, is one of the most successful rappers of all time – known for hits such as ‘Without Me’, ‘Love The Way You Lie’ and ‘Rap God’.

The ‘Lose Yourself’ star, 51, has sold more than 220 million albums worldwide, with more than 50 platinum album certifications.

But among his enormous back catalogue of music is one track he absolutely hates – for a rather sentimental reason.

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Eminem’s troubled relationship with his mother has long been a recurring theme in his lyrics.

He used some scathing insults against her at the start of his career, but now he’s older, it’s no surprise that he no longer performs one particular song.

But he also insults his mother in various ways on other tracks.

Eminem in Cleanin Out My Closet
Eminem hates his song ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’ so much that he no longer performs it at shows. Credit: Interscope

The artist later apologised to his mother for the words he’d used in previous songs, on a track called ‘Headlights’.

His apology starts: “My mum probably got it the worst.

“The brunt of it, but as stubborn as we are, did I take it too far?

“But regardless, I don’t hate you ‘cause ma.

“You’re still beautiful to me, ‘cause you’re my mum.”

The heartfelt lyrics continue: “But I’m sorry mama […] at the time I was angry.

“Rightfully maybe so, never meant that far to take it though, ‘cause.

“Now I know it’s not your fault and I’m not making jokes.

“That song I no longer pay at shows and I cringe every time it’s on the radio.”

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Eminem describes a number of events from his childhood on ‘Headlights’, such as being kicked out on Christmas Eve, constant fighting and how his brother, Nathan, was put into foster care.

Despite their estranged relationship, his words offered a chance for reconciliation, as he rapped about hating their ‘dysfunctional’ relationship.

Eminem continues: “But ma, I forgive you, so does Nathan yo.

“All you did, all you said, you did your best to raise us both.

“Foster care, that cross you bare, few may be as heavy as yours.

“But I love you Debbie Mathers, oh what a tangled web we have.”

Finishing his apology, Eminem raps: “And I’m mad I didn’t get the chance to thank you for being my mom and my dad.”

Eminem in Headlights
Eminem apologised to his mum in the song ‘Headlights’. Credit: Interscope

He released the music video for ‘Headlights’ on Mother’s Day and it shows him and his mother’s rocky relationship from the first-person perspective of his mum.

The video ends with the pair meeting up and Eminem giving her a hug and a letter – which contains the lyrics to ‘Headlights’.

But the track that Eminem no longer performs is the 2002 song ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’, as per Rap-Up.

In the song, he calls her a ‘selfish b****’ and expresses hopes that she will ‘burn in hell’.

The track also features several lines in which Eminem accuses his mother of ‘popping’ prescription drugs – and vows that she will never again see his daughter, Hailie Jade.

In 1999, Eminem’s mother filed a $10 million lawsuit against her son over his lyrics and reached a settlement of $25,000 two years later, as per ABC.


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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.