Eminem & Ed Sheeran’s “River” Charts A Harrowing Relationship’s Destruction

Mike Nied | December 15, 2017 1:01 am

Eminem pulled out all the stops for the release of his ninth studio album, Revival. The legendary rapper kicked off the campaign with a surprise Beyonce feature on its lead single, “Walk On Water,” but she is only one of several superstar features. Out today (December 15), the LP features collaborations with the likes of Pink, Alicia Keys and Ed Sheeran. Of them all, his work with the “Perfect” crooner is easily the most striking.

The unexpected duo team up on “River,” and the harrowing release charts a catastrophic relationship that causes nothing but pain. Produced by Ed and Emile Haynie, the UK crooner referred to the collab as the “highlight of my career” in a recent interview with The Times. It is also one of his most sorrowful, as Eminem details a one night stand tainted by revenge and heartbreak.

“And I know she’s using me to try to play him, I don’t care,” the “Lose Yourself” rapper declares. However, the pair’s choices result in an unplanned pregnancy and some difficult decisions for everyone involved. Ed opens and closes the track with a chorus, which highlights the pain caused by their mistakes. “I’ve been a liar, been a thief. Been a lover, been a cheat. All my sins need holy water. Feel it washing over me. A little one, I don’t want to admit to something if all it’s gonna cause is pain,” he mournfully sings over a sparse production.

It remains to see if the pair will select the track as an official single. As evocative as it is, “River” feels a little too raw for radio. Eminem may be more likely to push for one of the more obvious songs on the project. However, neither he nor Ed will be hurting for a hit. In fact, this is only one of three collaborations the 26-year-old unveiled tonight.

He also united with N.E.R.D. for “Lifting You” and teamed up with Andrea Bocelli for a third version of his current chart-topper “Perfect.” Any of the above could become hits, but give his emotional release a spin below.

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