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Eminem in a fight to revive rap spotlight with new single

The Real Slim Shady confronts aging, staying relevant in latest music

Eminem performs during The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11, 2014. DoD News photo by EJ Hersom

Eminem performs during The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11, 2014. DoD News photo by EJ Hersom

Photo by DoD News | Via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by DoD News | Via Flickr Creative Commons

Eminem performs during The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11, 2014. DoD News photo by EJ Hersom

Written By Nick Horwat, Co-A&E Editor

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Many of today’s rap fans would consider Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. It’s easy to overlook these claims until you sit down and actually take a look at his body of work.

With 15 Grammy Awards, 56 top 100 songs and an Academy Award it’s hard to deny that he is one of the best. All but one of his albums have peaked at number one on the Billboard top album sales list, and that outlier still charted at number two.

He is one of the top rap stars in the industry. He’s been in the game since 1996 with the release of “Infinite,” and ever since then, every album that he has put out has had multiple hits that are still played to this day.

Be honest with yourself, you probably know every word to “The Real Slim Shady.”

Recently, Eminem set a release date for his ninth studio album, “Revival,” for Nov. 17. This would also be his first full album release since 2013 when he came out with “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.”

The album is accompanied by the first single “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé, which debuted Nov. 10.

“Walk on Water” is a stripped down piano ballad with Beyoncé handling the chorus while Eminem gives verses that look like a coming of age song for him. Throughout the song you hear the sounds of crumpling and furious writing on papers, with Eminem lightly talking to himself, a small look into how songwriting is not as easy as it may seem for him.

Eminem’s verses are totally a reflection of himself; how he is growing older and has changed as a musician from his days with blonde hair and had a tad less of a serious sound to his music. He mentions how intimidating it can be to be looked up to by so many, “Kids look to me as a god… if only they knew it’s a facade and it’s exhaustive.”

He goes on to notice that other rappers are becoming just as popular but he won’t give up his spotlight without a fight. “As I grow out of sight, out of mind, I might go out of mine… How do I ever let this mic go without a fight?”

Those topics are a constant throughout his three verses, while the chorus belted by Beyoncé is about how celebrities are just regular people that were put on pedestals and now they feel the pressures of being in the eye of so many.

After the final chorus is finished there is a small outro from Eminem, a few record scratches and the words of recent Eminem we have become so familiar with.

“As long as I got a mic, I’m godlike,” Eminem says. Another line follows but it ends abruptly after a mention of “Stan,” another popular song Eminem had penned.

The way the final line is cut out with such a different sound from the rest of the song leads me to believe that the rest of the album will not have as deep of a meaning as this song had.

The album “Revival” is an addition to a theme that Eminem has with his album titles, harking back to past albums titled “Relapse” and “Recovery.” All the titles and subsequent songs are little glimpses into how, after a near fatal drug overdose, Eminem has become sober and staying on top of the rap world.

No matter what the rest of the album sounds like, it will most likely be a chart topper thanks to his millions of fans worldwide. I am personally excited to see where this album takes him. He is now 45 years old and it is a wonder if Eminem is starting a decline or if he still has a strong grasp on the spotlight.

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