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Eminem surprises again with new album, video

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Eminem is back – yes, back again – with a midnight surprise for fans.

The Detroit rapper released his 11th album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” as the clock ticked into Friday, Jan. 17. The unannounced, but rumored, release follows 2018’s “Kamikaze,” which was also a surprise.

Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers III) accompanied the album with its first single and video, “Darkness,” a protest track in which he recreates, both verbally and visually, the shootings at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, when deranged gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people from his 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay – the worst mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history. In the song, which samples Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” and video, a hooded and bearded Eminem poses as the killer in a hotel room, eventually taken down by police.

The clip ends with Eminem, 47, watching a compendium of news bulletins about other mass shootings. “When will this end?” a message on the screen asks. “When enough people care.” The video finishes with a link to vote.gov, urging fans to register to vote and “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America. A list of anti-violence organizations is included at Eminem.com/Darkness.

The “Music to Be Murdered By” album features a cover inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album of the same name. The 20-song set runs 64 minutes and features guest appearances by an all-star class included Ed Sheeran, the Roots’ Black Thought, the late Juice WRLD, Anderson.Paak, Q-Tip, Skylar Grey, Joell Ortiz, KXNG Crooked, White Gold, Don Toliver, Young M.A. and fellow Detroiters Royce Da 5’9”, Denaun Porter and Luis Resto. Dr. Dre served as executive producer.

The album opens with Eminem slamming critics of “Kamikaze” and also taking stock of a variety of beefs in addition to social commentary. The track “Unaccommodating” generated some immediate controversy due to the line “I’m accommodating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting” – which some feel makes light of the 2017 terrorist bombing at Manchester Arena in England during a Grande concert.

Eminem, who’s sold more than 170 million records worldwide and has won 15 Grammy Awards, currently has no concerts scheduled. Last year he played five shows in Australia, drawing 350,000 fans.

Web Site: www.eminem.com

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