Eminem’s new album, The Marshall Mathers LP, Part 2, hits stores today—and includes the kind of viciously anti-gay lyrics we thought Slim Shady had left behind. Whether he’s simply playing a character or revealing his true colors on homophobic tracks like “Rap God,” Em is once again courting controversy.
But he’s also done a fair number of things that could be classified as queer (or at least queer-friendly)—from dueting with Elton John and donning drag in music videos to posing naked and getting teabagged at the VMAs.
Below we count down the 10 gayest things Eminem has ever done!
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10. Rapped with Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj is pretty darn close to a gay man, especially in her queer alter ego of Roman Zolanski, who dueted with Mathers on “Roman’s Revenge”. “My god, it’s Shady and Nicki Minaj / You might find this sight quite odd,” screams Em. Yes, odd indeed. Minaj called the track “the most fun song on Pink Friday. It gave me life.”
9. The name “Slim Shady”
The shade of it all! Did Eminem get his artistic persona’s name from gay slang? Probably not. But maybe!
8. Was interviewed by Anderson Cooper
In 2011, Eminem subjected himself to an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. When the Silver Fox asked if Shady hates gay people, Shady half-heartedly replied “No, I don’t have any problem with nobody. You know what I mean? I’m just like ’whatever.'” Wow, can we get that tattooed on our ribcage?
7. Sang a duet with Elton John
As protesters stood outside of the Staples Center holding signs reading “Award Music, Not Hate,” Eminem offered an olive branch to the LGBT community by performing “Stan” at the 2001 Grammys with Elton John subbing in for Dido. At the end they hugged, and then Eminem flipped off the audience.
6. Donned Drag in “Without Me” Video
For the 2003 video for “Without Me” Eminem dragged up to play a parody version of his own mom. We’d chalk it up to experimentation but Em hid his candy again, channeling Madonna in 2004’s “Just Lose It.”
5. These gifs
4. Continued his bromance with Elton John
Eminem admitted to a substance-abuse problem and turned to the Rocketman to be his sobriety coach in 2008. That sounds more adorable than gay, until you read this quote from John from Rolling Stone:
I don’t see much of Marshall, but we speak a lot. He’s really worked very hard at [sobriety], and it’s changed him so much. I just saw a picture of him in a magazine, and he looks like a 17-year-old boy. I’m so happy for him . . . We have such a laugh. We call each other cunts. I ask him how he’s doing and tell him how proud I am of him. He’s got a great sense of humor. When David and I had our civil partnership, he sent us a present. In a case, on velvet cushions, were two diamond cock rings.
3. Inspired Mariah Carey to do Slim Shady drag
During a long feud between Mariah Carey and Slim, Mimi upped the ante by wearing Eminem drag in her “Obsessed” video. Detroit projects realness!
2. Posed provocatively for David LaChapelle
Shortly after the 1999 release of his first album, The Slim Shady LP, Eminem posed for legendary gay photographer David LaChapelle in some appropriately homoerotic snapshots for Rolling Stone.
1. Got teabagged by Bruno
At the 2009 VMAs, Sacha Baron Cohen dolled up as a his uber-gay alter ego Bruno and was lowered from the ceiling in butt-baring chaps. Who did he land on? None other than Slim Shady, who stormed out of the Gibson Amphitheater in what was later revealed to be a publicity stunt.
Related: Eminem Vs. The Gays