Eminem’s ‘Revival’ May Be His Last Album
After two decades at the center of hip-hop and the pop culture zeitgeist, the storied career of Eminem could be coming to an end. Marshall said as much in a recent conversation with NPR, where he discusses everything from President Trump, his health and, of course, Revival, which he says just might be his last album.
Speaking on the subject of his Revival song, "Castle," which is a track in which Em claims he's at the end of his rapping rope ("I can't stomach, they can take this fame back, I don't want it/I'll put out this last album then I'm done with it"), Slim Shady describes what sounds like an uncertain future in music. After all, active rap careers as lengthy as his ow are sort of uncharted territory.
"I don't know. I'm at a funny place, you know?" Em begins. "Hip-hop has been around for a long time but I don't know if it's really been around long enough to see how long someone could actually go for. You've still got guys like me and Jay-Z. Redman still has it, to me. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, but I'm still passionate about music, and hip-hop."
Elsewhere in the interview, NPR asks Em about the motivation behind his White-privilege/racism-addressing Revival single, "Untouchable." In a part of his explanation, he gives a little shine to Joyner Lucas, whose song "I'm Not Racist" has drawn acclaim for deftly deconstructing racism.
"Well, both, but it's more about hopefully being able to open people's eyes with it," Em says. "Between this song and, I feel like, Joyner Lucas' song, 'I'm Not Racist' — actually, that's a funny story because I got the heads-up that that song was coming. I don't know Joyner personally, but we have a mutual friend, and he actually ended up calling my friend Royce da 5'9", and telling him he wanted me to see this video. And when it came out, it was really, really good and it was super powerful. And I felt like, you know what? Hopefully between his song and mine we can open some eyes and maybe keep the movement going, and the conversation."
Appropriately enough, promotion for Em's latest—and possibly last—album began with the rapper addressing the perceived divisive nature of President Trump in a scathing BET Hip-Hop Awards freestyle. Detailing the bits that went into the set up of his epic performance, Em says he used the freestyle to make known his feelings about Trump.
"Well, we had been in talks with some people at BET," he reveals. "The original plan was to go there and perform it live, as it was happening — [but] the question was brought up about people in the crowds with cell phones, would it leak out before anything was in its proper context or whatever. I kinda knew what I wanted to say, but then the plan got switched around once everyone was worried about that, so we filmed here in Detroit. The whole concept of the video, the way it was shot, was kind of a take on Public Enemy's 'You're Gonna Get Yours,' the single cover. But to me, that was one element of what I have to say about him. It was more to get his attention, to see if he would say something back, and then I got some ideas."
Speaking with the folks at Vulture, Em, after admitting that he was a bit disappointed that the president never responded to his BET Hip-Hop Awards freestyle, reveals that he's actually got more lines waiting to use against Trump.
"I’m not going to give any away now, but I’ve got lines ready if he says something about me," says Em. "I get almost flustered thinking about him — that’s how angry he makes me. The people that support him are the people he cares about the least and they don’t even realize it. At what point do you — a working-class citizen, someone who’s trying to make shit better for you and your family — think this guy who’s never known struggle his entire fucking life, who avoided the military because of bone spurs, who says he’s a billionaire, is really looking out for you? He’s got people brainwashed."
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