In a new video released just in time for Mother’s Day, rapper Eminem apologizes to his estranged mother.
The song, “Headlights,” begins with the line, “Mom, I know I let you down,” and explores the rapper’s (real name, Marshall Mathers) troubled relationship with his mother Debbie Mathers.
In the past, Eminem has publicly vilified his mother for his unhappy childhood, most notably in the song, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.”
But in “Headlights,” the 41-year-old rapper expresses remorse for how he treated Mathers.
“Never thinking about who what I said hurt, in what verse / My mom probably got it the worst / The brunt of it, but as stubborn as we are / Did I take it too far?” Slim Shady raps in the track. “‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ and all them other songs / But regardless I don’t hate you ’cause, Ma, / You’re still beautiful to me, ’cause you’re my mom.”
The video, directed by Spike Lee and featuring Fun.’s Nate Ruess, is told from Mama Mathers’ viewpoint and shows her smoking and drinking while flipping through childhood photos of her son, as well as attempting to connect with her now famous offspring.
In the song, Eminem acknowledges his mother’s own struggles after his father left the family and his younger brother Nate was put into foster care.
“Then Nate got taken away by the state at eight-years-old,” he raps. “And that’s when I realized you were sick and it wasn’t fixable or changeable / And to this day we remain estranged and I hate it though, but…”
He goes on to say that both he and his brother forgive her, knowing that she did the best she could.
The video concludes with Eminem and his mother reuniting when he pulls out of his gated driveway just as she pulls in for another attempt to see him.
Mother and son hug outside their cars before going their separate ways.
“And as you left I had this overwhelming sadness / Come over me as we pulled off to go our separate paths,” Eminem raps.
“So mom, please accept this as a tribute I wrote this on the jet, I guess / I had to get this off my chest, I hope I get the chance to lay it ‘fore I’m dead,” he adds.
The rapper ends with, “I’ll always love you from afar cause you’re my ma.”