Back when Eminem was a rising star, he caught a lot of flack for his use of the word “faggot” and other negative descriptions of gay people. To try and reach out to the gay community (or do PR, depending on how you see it), Eminem performed “Stan” together with Elton John – who was already out of the closet by that time – at the 2001 Grammys. It’s a fantastic performance, and Zane Lowe asked asked Sir Elton John about his relationship with Eminem for the singer’s 70th birthday.

Despite all the controversy surrounding Eminem at the time, Elton John remains a steadfast supporter of Detroit’s finest. In a segment of the interview below, Elton John recalls listening to the Marshall Mathers LP on the way to a show in the UK and then being “floored” by his performance. “How can anyone think this is, you know? He’s just writing about the way things are, not how he thinks, but the way things are.” He goes on to say that Eminem “was never homophobic,” and call anyone who can’t see that “idiots.” Watch the segment below and see the whole Zane Lowe interview on Apple Music.

Elton John’s longtime friendship with Eminem isn’t the pop legend’s only connection to hip hop. He’s recently appeared on A Tribe Called Quest’s album, hit the studio with Thugger (where’s that song at though??) and shopped for Tech N9ne vinyl.