On Friday (Dec. 15), Eminem released his ninth album Revival. In his latest offering, we encounter a wiser Em, as the 45-year-old MC unabashedly speaks on his failed marriage, systematic racism, and the political strife plaguing America.
Before embarking on his journey, Em recruited several big name artists to help smoothen out the ride.
Pop heavyweights such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, P!nk and Alicia Keys provide colorful choruses to help bring Eminem’s indelible lyrics to light, while fresh faces like Kehlani and PHresher sprinkle their youthful energy on his ambitious album.
Take a look at the five things we spotted on our first listen to Revival below.
His Storytelling Is Still Elite
With a slew of pop singers peppered throughout Eminem’s ninth album, many pondered whether shady’s storytelling abilities would be drowned out by his starry appearances. Fortunately, that’s not the case whatsoever.
On “River,” Em painfully scripts a song about a fiery romance gone awry. As Ed Sheeran delivers the somber hook, Shady details a sex addict’s floundering relationship with his paranoid partner. Perturbed by her beau’s on-going affairs, she begins keeping track of his social media activities. “She’s on his back like a jet pack/ She’s kept track of all his Internet chats,” Em describes.
Later, Em finds himself entangled in the crazy love triangle with the damaged woman, whom he quickly tries to remove himself from. “And now that I got you, I don’t want you/ Took advantage of my thirst to pursue, why do I do this dirt that I do.”
Even on the Skylar Grey-featuring “Tragic Endings,” Em puts his storytelling cap back on for this sinister tale which highlights a woman lowering the self-confidence of her significant other.
“All my life, I was told, I was never nothing special/ I don’t need to be reminded of it every other second/ ‘Specially when all my self-esteem’s already shot to hell/ I’m falling helplessly, I’m embarrassed, I don’t want no one else to see,” he raps. It’s good to see that Em can still tell a story without even breaking a sweat.
His Pick-Up Lines Are Hilarious
Listen, if you’re looking to pick-up chicks, never, in any circumstance, call on Eminem to hit you up — his icebreakers are just plain corny. On “Remind Me,” the cringe-worthy track finds Em lusting over a hot girl. On numerous occasions, Em’s meager advances seem whimsical and damn near embarrassing.
“I spot you at first glance and go shit/ You’re wearing those pants that don’t fit / You never give up, no matter what/ Because you have an ass that don’t quit,” he raps. Oh, just when you thought Marshall was done trying to cajole his way into her lady’s love nest, he gushes about her luscious backside. “Your butt is heavy duty like diarrhea.” Yeah… that’s not exactly the way to win a girl over.
He Takes Aim at Trump
After obliterating Donald Trump in his scathing freestyle at this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, Eminem made sure to reload up on his ammunition against America’s Commander-in-Chief. On his Alicia Keys-assisted track “Like Home,” Em decimates Trump with a slew haymakers regarding his political blunders.
“Someone get this Aryan a sheet/ Time to bury him, so tell him to prepare to get impeached/ Everybody on your feet/ This is where terrorism and heroism meets, square up in the streets.” In Em’s eyes, a new America is possible if Trump is ousted from his presidential chair. “This man just praised a statue of General Lee, ’cause/ Generally hates the black people, degrades Hispanics/ Take it back to the Shady national convention/ Wish I would have spit on it before I went to shake his hand at the event,” Em says. We’ll see if Donald will have any response for Em this time around.
He Takes Blame for Being a “Bad Husband”
Throughout his career, Em torched his ex-wife, Kim Mathers, for their tumultuous relationship. In 2000, he penned a morbid track titled “Kim,” in which he slandered his ex instead of taking any ounce of accountability. 17 years later, a mature Marshall takes ownership of the relationship’s demise after he spent most of his career thrashing her publicly in a track called “Bad Husband.”
“We brought out the worst in each other/ Someone had to make the sparring end/ ‘Cause I loved you but I hated that me/ And I don’t wanna see that side again.” To complete his heartfelt apology, Em sampled his daughter Hailie Jade’s voice for the song’s chorus.
Eminem & P!nk Need to Do a Collab Project ASAP
In an era where collaboration projects are so frequent, Eminem and P!nk have proven to be one of the strongest hip-hop/pop duos in the game. Since they first linked up on Em’s 2010 album Recovery for “Won’t Back Down,” the edgy tandem have proven to be an unbeatable pair.
This year, Em and P!nk reunited when the songstress enlisted Marshall for their blistering collaboration “Revenge” on P!nk’s album Beautiful Trauma. Now, the fearsome duo team up once again on their slow-burning record “Need Me,” where both artists talk about forging a forever kind of bond, despite enduring numerous red flags in their toxic relationship.