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(FILES) This file photo taken on August 29, 2002 shows Eminem walking on stage to accept the Video of the Year Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. - Guess who's back?... Rapper Eminem surprised fans on January 17, 2020, by dropping a new album featuring a strong anti-gun violence theme but also stoking the kind of controversy that brought him fame. On the album, one track called "Darkness" tells the story of a loner going on a shooting spree, while another song, "Unaccommodating," has triggered outcry and muddied the veteran singer's call for gun control. The song references the 2017 deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Britain, which left 22 people dead. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

NEW YORK: Guess who’s back?.. Rapper Eminem surprised fans Friday by dropping a new album featuring a strong anti-gun violence theme but also stoking the kind of controversy that brought him fame.

On the album, one track called “Darkness” tells the story of a loner going on a shooting spree, while another song, “Unaccommodating,” has triggered outcry and muddied the veteran singer’s call for gun control.

The song references the 2017 deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Britain, which left 22 people dead.

“But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” the 47-year-old artist, born Marshall Mathers, raps on the track.

The lyric was met with scorn on social media, with some users dubbing it “disgusting” and “trash.”

The new album, called “Music to be Murdered by,” features appearances from the late rapper Juice WRLD, along with Q-Tip, Ed Sheeran, Anderson .Paak and regular collaborator singer Skylar Grey.

Dr. Dre is credited throughout as a producer.

Eminem released his last album “Kamikaze” in 2018 in a similar sudden fashion. That album included several attacks on US President Donald Trump.

The rapper also released Friday a video for “Darkness” that featured audio and footage from the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest US gun massacre carried out by an individual in modern history.

It ends urging viewers to register to vote: “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America,” closing text reads. - AFP

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