Photography By: Lauren Gesswein
For the better part of 2013, Eminem has stayed out of the spotlight. There are murmurs of collaborations with TDE and Big Sean on the horizon, but diehard Shady fans have been anticipating a new project for some time. To hold fans over, Em and his Shady Records signee Yelawolf performed an exclusive concert at G-Shock “Shock The World” party in New York (August 7). The company gathered two of hip-hop’s biggest names to Basketball City in celebration of a line of innovative timepieces for the fall—including Em’s Detroit-themed G-Shock watch retailing for $180.
Yelawolf a.k.a. the Slumerican let the bass ring loud, kicking off his set with “Trunk Muzik.” Rocking a “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” Famous Stars & Straps tee and sipping on a beer, Yela ran through more of his standout joints with rapid-fire ferocity. With the large crowd dancing along, Yela hit fans with “Hard White,” “I Wish,” “Daddy’s Lambo” and “Fire Starter.” If that wasn’t enough, the Alabama native wrapped up with a slew of songs from Trunk Muzik Returns, launching into his A$AP Rocky-assisted “Gangsta,” “Way Out,” and “F.A.S.T. Ride.”
Reportedly, Em was supposed to unveil his tracklist and play a few new songs from his forthcoming album last night. While some were disappointed that he didn’t share the news, it was a small sacrifice for a well-rounded set from the best rapper of all time. Backed by a live band, Slim took the stage with hypeman Mr. Porter and dominated with hit after hit from his bountiful discography. He started with “3 A.M.” and then captured the audience with “Square Dance,” “Business” “Kill You” and “Criminal.” The night’s festivities continued when Em performed some of his guest verses off big singles such as B.o.B’s “Airplanes” and Drake’s “Forever.”
Midway through the show, Em surprised his guests by bringing out Royce da 5’9″ for “Lighters.” The Bad Meets Evil duo looked like true veterans as they performed the track without missing a beat. Later on, Em closed out the night with a number of tracks off his latest album Recovery with “Love The Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid.” And just when you thought it was over, the legendary MC gave his fans an encore by performing “Lose Yourself.”
Eminem may make rare appearances these days, but nobody could argue that his live performance is untouchable. Em went in, and left us wanting more.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)