The rumors were true — Eminem’s new single is called “Walk On Water!” Kudos to his team, however, for keeping the Beyonce feature under wraps. That’s no easy feat. So what does the collaboration sound like? Not what you would expect. The first taste of the rapper’s 9th LP is a stripped-back, introspective ballad that finds him coming to grips with the changing landscape of hip-hop and his place in it. “It’s the curse of the standard that the first of the Mathers disc set, always in search of the verse that I haven’t spit yet,” he raps over Rick Rubin’s loose, acoustic arrangement.
“Will this step just be another misstep, to tarnish whatever the legacy, love or respect I’ve garnered?” Eminem, it seems, is fully aware that he is held to a higher standard than his peers — something that Beyonce can relate to. “I walk on water, but I ain’t no Jesus,” she sings on the gospel-tinged chorus. “I walk on water, but only when it freezes. ‘Cause I’m only human, just like you.” It’s not the most relatable topic (unless you’re a superstar trying to defend your legacy), but it offers real insight into the effort that goes into being great.
From an elaborate scam website to billboards for a non-existent drug, Eminem has been dropping hints that he’s about to release a new album for weeks. All signs point to the album being called Revival with the release date of November 17 looking increasingly likely. (After all, he’s performing on Saturday Night Live on November 18). “Walk On Water” is an indication that he’s heading in a very different direction than The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which felt unusually backward-looking. Listen to the single below.