Rapper Eminem is known for his edgy music, which generally includes explicit lyrics and controversial themes. That’s why last week’s media report alleging that the performer has become a born-again Christian sparked so much interest.
While it was enticing for many to pounce on the idea that the formerly-troubled star would have a “come to Jesus” moment, the entire notion of an intense spiritual transformation is based on an unnamed source who was cited on the web site AllHipHop.com.
“I heard a doozie recently and I’m not sure that I can believe that its completely true,” the article announcing the rumor about the purported conversion read. “On the flip, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was. Eminem has been evolving a lot over the last few years. We’ve seen it. Maturity. Sobriety.”
The rumor, based on a source from Detroit, Mich., claims that the rapper is removing himself “further from the depths of the music industry.” This action, which has purportedly had an impact on his business ties and the acts he works with, is allegedly predicated upon the conversion to Christianity in which the rapper is said to have turned his life over to God.
This story wasn’t only reported on the hip hop blog, though. Other outlets like The Christian Post and the blog and opinion section of The Huffington Post also explored the alleged faith transformation. Following the story’s circulation, TheBlaze decided to investigate the shocking claim. We made several calls and sent e-mails to an Interscope Records representative who work with “Slim Shady” (one of the rapper’s stage names).
After repeated attempts to receive an answer, the publicist offered a brief response when asked if the singer is now a born-again Christian. “He is not,” the message back to TheBlaze read, thus debunking — at least until we hear a response from the rapper himself — the notion that has has personally embraced Jesus Christ’s teachings.
Rumors and intriguing theories surrounding Eminem’s faith are nothing new. As USC Annenberg communications professor Marcia Dawkins writes:
Conspiratorial theories asserting that Mathers is either a Satanist or an Illuminati pawn have reached a broad, mass audience through the Internet. Now, a new meme has been added to the rapper’s spiritual story. Rumor has it that Mathers is now a Born Again Christian. According to rap’s and religion’s insiders, Eminem has “turned his life over to Christ,” and is “building a relationship with God and using that to help him spiritually, and with his addiction problems.”
It is impossible to know, with any accuracy, the truth about Mathers’s spiritual journey. However, the fact that God and Devil worship rumors abound makes it important to examine his public endorsements in lyrics as a meaningful way to draw audiences in through passionate condemnation.
Either Eminem has not yet announced to his record label that he has converted or the notion, itself, is an unfounded rumor. Or — perhaps he’s still in the process of figuring out his spiritual journey. Regardless, the rapper’s turn from a controversial figure touting questionable themes to a gospel-driven performer would certainly be fascinating to observe.