Eminem received criticism last week for playing what sounded like gunshot effects during his Bonnaroo set. Last night, he responded to the complaints by ignoring them completely. According to USA Today, his Firefly performance included several “gunshot” sounds and a written message, “If you are easily frightened by loud noises or offended by explicit lyrics, you shouldn’t be here. Eminem,” which appeared on screens before he took the stage.
The rapper played the sound effect with some of his more violent songs like “Kill You” and “Criminal.” His manager Paul Rosenberg wrote in an Instagram post, “Contrary to inaccurate reports, @Eminem does not use gunshot sound effects during his live show. The effect used by Eminem in his set at @bonnaroo was a pyrotechnic concussion which creates a loud boom. He has used this effect — as have hundreds other artists — in his live show for over 10 years, including previous US festival dates in 2018 without complaint.”
Opposing fans argue that Eminem should’ve omitted the sound effect in light of recent shootings at concerts and festivals. The sound isn’t an actual recording of a gunshot, but playing it alongside lyrics like “I’m a pull you to this bullet, and put it through you” certainly left that impression.