"Kicking someone when he's down is not a good thing," the legend says of the rapper

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 06, 2004 02:50 PM

Eminem won’t be receiving any holiday presents from music legend Stevie Wonder, who is “really disappointed” by the rapper’s video lampoon of Wonder’s pal Michael Jackson.

Wonder goes so far as to call Eminem hypocritical, given that he owes his success in music to poor and black people.

“Kicking someone when he’s down is not a good thing,” Wonder, 54, tells Billboard. “I have much respect for his work, though I don’t think he’s as good as (late rapper) 2Pac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level.”

Jackson, 46, who faces trial on charges of child molestation, already came out slugging at Eminem for the video for the song “Just Lose It,” in which Em is shown dressed as Jackson and hopping on a bed with youngsters. BET yanked the video, though MTV continued to play it, despite protests from Jackson.

For his part, Wonder sees a cultural conflict of interest at work in Eminem’s music. As viewed by the elder musician, Eminem “has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of color. So for him to come out like that is bull.”

Eminem’s spokesman has not commented on Wonder’s statements.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Wonder is due to receive the Century Award at Billboard’s annual music awards, to telecast live on FOX from Las Vegas.