I can ignore a lot of things as a rap journalist committed to covering things that I think actually move the culture forward. I don’t have to write about or listen to Desiigner or Migos or anyone, for that matter, as I’m lucky enough to be an independent creator with a whole other profession that pays the bills. Every now and then, though, an event comes along that anyone who writes about rap would be a fool not to at least check out, even if it’s just for a hype check.
My “New Music Friday” playlist on Spotify was graced with a picture of weird-beard Eminem, meaning he finally followed up his BET freestyle with a record from Revival. And for the “YAAAS” factor, he’s tapped none other than St. Beyonce herself. That being said and having played the song four times in full and more in snippets…
I don’t know what this is supposed to be or who it’s for.
One of the harshest critiques anyone can give a piece of art sometimes is “why” and unfortunately, that’s the question I’m asking here. Aside from the obvious dollars and attention that will be lavished on the song because of Eminem and Beyonce working together, it’s not clear what Em was trying to accomplish leading with this record. It seems like a squandering of his momentum, considering the Trump freestyle he gave us not long ago. I thought that perhaps we would be getting an older Eminem more concerned about the world’s woes than the one battling self-doubt and pop stars on every other record.
“Walk On Water” finds Eminem again going into his old bag of angst, except this time as a 45 year old man. You spend the entire time listening to a guy with 15 Grammys cry about not being able to write a perfect rhyme within a rhyme that brings nothing new to the table in terms of Eminem’s flow. It’s the same cadence and emphasis on certain words he’s been using for years and it’s disappointing that after all of this time away, Em hasn’t managed to tell us a new story. Maybe Bey needs to get him on some of that “spiritual sh*t” that Hov was talking about.
I walk on water, but only when it freezes…