The U.S. Secret Service has looked into reports that rapper Eminem wrote lyrics that said “I’d rather see the president dead,” but it doesn’t plan a formal investigation, said a Secret Service spokesman.
John Gill, the spokesman, cautioned such lyrics can have unintended consequences on others.
“The Secret Service has no current plans to open an investigation into this matter,” Gill said Monday. But “we are concerned about communications that can be interpreted in a manner perhaps not intended by the artist, and the potential peripheral impact that such lyrics can have on other individuals.”
The Secret Service made preliminary inquiries because of lyrics in Eminem’s song, “We Are American.” The lyrics say “(Expletive) money, I don’t rap for dead presidents, I’d rather see the president dead.”
Representatives of Eminem could not be reached Monday night for comment. Eminem’s spokesman told CNN recently the song was “unfinished” and that “there was no determination where, when, how or if it was going to be used.”
Gill said the Secret Service must balance its duties of investigating such communications with its respect for the constitutional right of freedom of speech.
He added, however, that it was necessary for the Secret Service to look into communications that could be considered threatening to the president.
“The Secret Service takes every potential threat against the president seriously,” Gill said. “We don’t have the luxury to do otherwise."