Well, the pop collaborations all over Eminem’s latest album, Revival, may have elicited scorn from critics and longtime fans, but never underestimate the loyalty and resilience of the teenaged girl pop audience.
Thanks to their approval of Em’s guitar-laden single, “River,” with Ed Sheeran — a pop favorite, to be sure — Eminem’s third single sits at no. 32 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart and Revival has made a stunning recovery after a precipitous drop in post-first-week sales. Now, the pair are capitalizing with a music video — one that will feature both artists, unlike Eminem’s ill-fated, Beyonce-featuring “Walk On Water” video.
“River” has actually been rising on the charts, driven largely by its Sheeran-sung hook. It landed at no. 45 just last week, and the upcoming music video is likely to boost that position even further. Sheeran previously broke down how the unlikely collaboration came to be, saying, “My mate Emile, who produces a lot for Eminem is like, ‘Oh, I’ve done some drums and stuff on the “River” song that you wrote.’ I was like, ‘Oh, cool. Are you gonna send it to him?’” Now, he may be the factor most responsible for redeeming Eminem’s latest effort — at least commercially.
Meanwhile, Em himself struck back at the negative critical response with a searing verse on the caustic “Chloraseptic” remix that still, somehow, left a lot to be desired. Time will tell if Eminem will truly ever recover his hip-hop credentials, but for now, being one of the top pop stars on the planet has to be at least some comfort.