Eminem released a surprise album on Thursday night — and one song includes an apology to singer Rihanna for a 2019 incident.
The album, "Music to Be Murdered By — Side B," includes 16 new songs and is a companion album to the rapper's previous album, "Music to be Murdered By," which was released in January 2020.
On one track, "Zeus," Eminem addresses the 2019 leak of a decade-old song in which he rapped that he "sided with Chris Brown" after Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009. The leaked song, which would have been written that same year, was recorded but never released.
In 2019, Eminem's spokesperson Dennis Dennehy said that it was a "leak of something that's over 10 years old" and confirmed that the song was "scrapped" and Eminem "rewrote" the lyrics. Dennehy added that Eminem and Rihanna have a "great relationship."
In "Zeus," Eminem apologizes for the leak of the song, adding that he never meant to "cause (Rihanna) grief."
"But, me, long as I re-promise to be honest / And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna / For the song that leaked, I'm sorry, Ri / It wasn't meant to cause you grief," Eminem rapped. "Regardless, it was wrong of me."
Rihanna has not responded to the new song publicly. In the past, the pair have collaborated on multiple projects: Eminem was featured on her 2010 single "Love the Way You Lie" and her 2012 song "Numb" from the album "Unapologetic." Rihanna was featured in Eminem's 2013 song "The Monster" from "The Marshall Mathers LP 2."
The two also co-headlined the two-week August 2014 "Monster Tour."
"Zeus" also touches on current events: Eminem pays tribute to the victims of police violence, including Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin. Another song on the album, titled "Demons," references the coronavirus pandemic.
"Music to Be Murdered By —Side B" is the third surprise release from Eminem, following the first "Music to Be Murdered By" album and 2018's "Kamikaze." The new album, produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre, features DJ Premier, Ty Dolla $ign and Sly Pyper.