‘Walk on Water’ is the rapper’s emotional comeback, but it’s undeniably very corny
Eminem has been teasing a comeback recently. His last album, 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, wasn’t especially well-received by critics, but there’s been a renewed focus on the rapper since his attention-grabbing anti-Trump freestyle went viral last month. For the past week he’s been teasing fake prescription notes for a drug called ‘Revival’, with many people on the world wide web speculating that he was prepping a new album with the same name. And now those rumours are being kicked up a notch with the release of “Walk on Water”, a new song featuring none other than Beyoncé.
This won’t be news to anyone, but Eminem still knows how to rap, and Beyoncé can obviously sing. And yet, and yet – the track itself comes across strangely thin. Over a stock ~emotional~ formula (forlorn piano chords, heartfelt strings, etc.), Em pours his heart out and comes clean to his critics – about addiction, about declining sales, about the past and about the present, and about how, at the end of the day, he’s only human. It’s extremely sincere, but it’s also deeply corny. But then again, that’s a balance he’s always struck, to varying degrees of success.
The tune ends with twist ending in the form of a mini-skit – “Cause I'm just a man / But as long as I got a mic, I’m godlike / ‘Cause you and I are not alike / Bitch, I wrote ‘Stan’” – suggesting that, while it’s all tears and self-reflection now, there are still some big bangers yet to come. We’ll see what happens there.
Eminem will play Saturday Night Live on November 18, which will be hosted by Chance the Rapper. Otherwise, listen to the song below.