Eminem is set to drop his first new album in four years next week with the release of Revival. Friday he offered fans their first glimpse of the new LP with “Walk On Water,” a sullen, introspective, piano-backed number that detailed Em’s struggle with his fans outer-worldly expectations of him and his music. It’s a stark contrast to his previous singles, even in the second, sober, era of his career in this decade. Well, as it turns out, Em heard all of the criticisms lobbied against him and used them as fuel when he created the new song.
“When you start out in your career, you have a blank canvas, so you can paint anywhere that you want because the sh*t ain’t been painted on yet,” Eminem said, discussing his mindset when writing the song. “And then your second album comes out and you paint a little more, and you paint a little more and by the time you get to your seventh and eight album you’ve already painted all over that. There’s nowhere else to paint. So it’s like, where do you go? And people are always expecting something different from you.”
As for how Beyonce came to be on the track, well after he and Em made it, Rick knew just who to play the song for afterwards: Jay-Z and Beyonce. “The reason I waned to play it for him is because I’m sure these same feelings cross his mind,” Rubin said, detailing a meeting where he played them the song. “These same feelings cross any successful artist’s mind.” After hearing the record, Beyonce agreed to sing the chorus, and the rest is history.
Check out the entire episode of the Broken Record podcast below.