Eminem has a new album out, and it’s getting rave reviews. Rolling Stone called the 19-track Revival “raw, honest, and compelling.” Eminem dropped the new album just yesterday, and Revival features a surprising amount of other artists, generating plenty of buzz.
But perhaps one of the most honest tracks off the record is the song “Bad Husband,” where Eminem apologizes to his ex-wife Kim Scott for their tumultuous relationship history. The song is full of apologies and descriptions of what Eminem feels he did wrong. But it also includes parts that address what he thinks Kim did wrong, too. It’s a complex piece and it doesn’t have a concrete resolution. It’s simply an artist trying to reckon with his mistakes. “Bad Husband” has some lyrics that seem to indicate that Eminem doesn’t believe it was wholly his fault, though. The song, like the relationship’s public narrative, is messy that way.
The rapper has long dealt with the subject of domestic violence and abuse in his work. His duet with Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie,” also depicts a violent relationship. But he’s never addressed his ex-wife Kim so directly as he does on “Bad Husband.” He’s very frank about how he believes he hurt her, rapping without metaphors and tackling the events head-on.
You can hear Eminem’s “Bad Husband” and the rest of Revival on Spotify.
He continues to talk about the cycle of the abuse, but not without directly saying sorry.
The chorus indicates that while Eminem sees himself as a bad husband, he is a good father.
“How come, how come, you can be a liar and a good father?” he asks. “A great dad, but a bad husband. Why are you a good father? A great dad, but a bad husband.” It should be said that children who witness domestic violence are still witnesses to trauma, so it’s arguably a projection that he believes he was still a good father during those times. And we have to wonder if one of the reason’s he’s reflecting on his relationship is because his daughter Hailie is now grown up and dating. But this is his narrative, and so far, fan response has been positive.
It’s worth noting that the rest of Revival is still full of references to sexual assault and violence. “Gotta stab a bitch at least eight times/To make it on Dateline” is a lyric that stands out. He’s apologized to Kim, on the record, though, and that’s more than he’s ever done before.