Eminem Recorded A Version Of Rihanna’s Hit Single ‘Diamonds’ Before She Did

“Diamonds” has proven to be one of the biggest hits of Rihanna’s career, but it almost wasn’t her song at all. In fact, Eminem actually recorded a version of it before she did, according to the song’s co-producer, Benny Blanco.

Speaking about the track with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Blanco revealed that he originally intended the song to be for Kanye West or Lana Del Rey:

“We wanted it to be a Kanye song or a Lana Del Ray song, I remember, at first. And we were like, ‘OK, yeah, cool, let’s do that.’ And then, I remember [song co-writer] Sia, just writing. Sia, being Sia, she can write like 700 songs in one second. This was before Uber and she was like, ‘ I just called the car. It says it’s going to be 15 minutes. Pull up a beat.’ Pull up a beat…. melody, lyrics, everything. Done, OK. Then, we’re listening to it a few days later, and [song co-producer] Stargate’s like, ‘Yo, we’re giving this song to Rihanna. It’s going to go.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, man. Should we keep the beat for Kanye? I don’t know about it. I don’t know if it’s… I don’t know.’

He then went on to discuss how he learned that Eminem had actually recorded a version of the track before Rihanna did:

“Then I remember I had given a beat CD like a month earlier to Paul Rosenberg to give to Eminem. And apparently, Eminem had done a song to it, too, and I didn’t even know. […] Paul was like, ‘Man, Em had that beat on hold.’ I was like, ‘What? I didn’t even know.’ So, I’m sitting there, and then I finally am like, ‘You know what, Stargate?’ I let go. I said, ‘You guys know better. Let’s do it.’ She cut the song. First of all, the second she cut the song, they were completely right. I was like, ‘This is the best song I’ve ever done.’ And then, this is how life works, full circle: Kanye West does a remix to the song.”

Check out more from Blanco’s interview with Lowe below.