Rapper swears by the skirl of bagpipes on comeback album
WHETHER it is meant as an unorthodox tribute to his ancestral homeland or as a disparaging rap in the face is as clear as Highland mist.
But Eminem has adopted the national instrument – and attempted a Scottish accent – on his latest controversial work.
The hip-hop hellraiser's track, Bagpipes From Baghdad, has been leaked on to the internet ahead of its scheduled release. It features the rapper delivering an expletive-flecked tirade in what appears to be the least convincing attempt at a Scottish accent since Mel Gibson cracked open a tub of blue face paint.
The track's title and Celtic flavour has baffled fans and bemused a Scottish regimental pipe band which won a Classical Brit Award last week for an album recorded in Iraq.
One theory is that the star, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers, is paying backhanded homage to his Scottish roots.
The bizarre track mixes bagpipes with traditional Middle Eastern music to a thumping hip-hop beat. As the pipes begin to skirl, Eminem adopts a cod-Scottish brogue and bellows:
"Och! It's music to my ears. Oh man.
"How can I describe the way I feel?
"It's f*****' great man."
The Detroit-based performer was apparently furious after the track, along with others on his comeback album, Relapse, found their way on to the internet. With the rapper keeping silent, fans have been left to speculate online about the meaning of the song title.
A spokesman for the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards was amused by suggestions that they might have provided inspiration for the song title.
Roddy Christie said: "The title doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm sure the guys in the band will have a good laugh about it."
Scottish rapper Werd, of the duo Werd and Deeko, was unimpressed by both the Slim Shady star's accent and the content of his comeback LP. He said: "The album seems rushed and badly recorded, which is surprising since he has five years to put it together."
The rest of the track revolves around vituperative lyrical attacks on Mathers' former partner, the singer Mariah Carey.
Eminem was born in Missouri in 1974, but his maternal great-grandmother, Ailsa McAllister, came from Edinburgh.
In 2003, his grandmother, Betty Kresin, said: "I took great pains to let him know of his ancestry and how he should be proud to be Scottish."
The star has appeared in Scotland on several occasions over the years and has even donned a kilt to acknowledge his Caledonian antecedents.
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