Did Eminem Diss Jay-Z On ‘Tobey?’

Some fans think a line from Eminem’s new Detroit posse cut contained a veiled slight for one of his fellow rap legends. In his verse from “Tobey” with Big Sean and BabyTron, Eminem raps, “Ain’t feelin’ your top five favorite rappers/ So I know they ’bout to be pissed at me/ But this, to me, is a mystery/ How rappers I’ve already ripped could be/ Higher up on a list than me.”

The line, which refers to a Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time list published by Billboard last year, has been interpreted by some fans as a shot at Jay-Z, who came in at No. 1. Eminem is notoriously … let’s say “sensitive” … about being taken seriously as the best rapper, so it’s pretty clear that he’s not happy about not being higher up on the list. The Jay-Z connection from fans likely stems from their 2001 collaboration “Renegade,” which has proven to be controversial among fans for which rapper’s performance was the best. As Nas said in his diss song “Ether,” “Eminem murdered you on your own sh*t.” (More contemporary readings have proven to be kinder to Jay’s verses from the song, but the consensus still seems to be that Eminem outrapped him, considering how “Renegade” entered the lexicon as a verb used to describe the phenomenon of being outshone by a featured artist.)

However, one of Eminem’s closest associates and frequent collaborator, Royce Da 5’9, shut down the speculation on Instagram, responding to the question directly in a comment. “Of course not,” he wrote. Not exactly straight from the horse’s mouth, but close enough to say fans still beef-hungry after the combative energy that carried 2024 through winter and spring are probably reaching, just hoping to make something shake. It doesn’t seem likely — Jay hasn’t released a new song or verse since “God Did” in 2022 — but let’s face it; we probably don’t need that in an election year.