“‘Cause Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service/ To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him,” rapped Eminem on “The Ringer” off 2018’s Kamikaze. Fans were shook, as he was suggesting that his lyrics criticizing Donald Trump during a BET cypher and on the Revival cut “Framed” had triggered an actual investigation. While at the time of Kamikaze’s release the Secret Service stated they do “not confirm or comment on the absence or existence of specific investigations,” newly revealed documents prove that the agency really did look into the rapper.
BuzzFeed News filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year, and they’ve just received over 40 pages of documents detailing the complete interview with and investigation into Eminem. According to the docs, the Secret Service deemed Em to be “exhibiting inappropriate behavior” that “threatens protectee” (i.e., the President) based on “threatening lyrics” in “Framed”. According to the heavily redacted documents, the Secret Service said,
“The song was about a murder that he [couldn’t] remember and must be ‘framed’ with the specific lyrics, ‘Donald Duck’s on as the Tonka Truck in the yard. But dog, how the fuck is Ivanka Trump in the trunk of my car?… ’cause I feel somewhat responsible for the dumb little blonde Girl, that motherfuckin’ baton twirler that got dumped in the pond, Second murder with no recollection of it.'”
Apparently, the Secret Service were tipped off to the track thanks to, of all things, a TMZ employee who was reaching out for comment on a story. Deemed a “concerned citizen” by the report, the TMZ staffer specifically asked if the “agency is investigating Eminem for his threatening lyrics about First daughter Ivanka Trump,” referring to an article from The Hill.
Using the BET cypher and a 2017 Vulture interview in which Eminem said Trump “makes my blood boil” as supporting evidence, the Secret Service’s Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division conducted a background check on Eminem. An interview was arranged through the rapper’s attorneys and conducted on January 16th, 2018. After discussing the matter with Em, the Secret Service “determined that this case will be NON-REFERRED” to a federal prosecutor, and that was the end of it.
Unfortunately, the two pages summarizing the conversation were fully redacted, so we’ll never know what was actually said during the interview. That is, unless Eminem decides to drop more truth bombs in future songs. Revisit “The Ringer” below.