Even before his instantly-iconic appearance at the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards, there was some serious hype for Eminem‘s Revival, the rapper’s ninth album proper. Now of course, in the wake of his cypher that set the pop culture blogosphere alight and reinvigorated his standing in the hip-hop world, the upcoming record has become a high-water mark in the calendar of 2017 releases, with music journalists everywhere snapping at each potential bit of news.
With the release date coming up shortly, here is a rundown of everything we know so far about Eminem’s Revival.
It’s coming out on December 15
Despite the work of internet sleuths who interpreted an elaborate ad campaign that indicated a release of November 17, Revival‘s release date went through multiple reshuffles until the official release date of December 15 was finally revealed. Continuing the theme of faux prescription ads, the date was unveiled by Dr. Dre in an Instagram video.
“Walk on Water” is the project’s lead single
Released over the weekend, “Walk on Water” has been confirmed by Em in various sources to be Revival’s lead single.
It also features Beyoncè, who agreed to sing the hook of the track only after some convincing by JAY-Z. This little nugget of information was revealed over the weekend on the premiere episode of a new podcast from producer Rick Rubin and Malcolm Gladwell. Eminem was their first guest, and he opened up on the making of the track. “It’s a very mortal song. It’s mortality, it’s not being Superman,” he says. Listen to the podcast below.
The album’s second single is “Untouchable”
Eminem dropped Revival‘s second track on Friday, December 8 – a week ahead of the project’s release.
The official album artwork is patriotic – sort of.
The stars and stripes of the U.S. flag are superimposed onto an image of Eminem, seemingly bowing his head in shame.
There will be a 2 Chainz collaboration
Yes, you read that correctly. In an interview with Shade 45, the Atlantan iconoclast let slip that he has been in the studio with Eminem. “That’s how I know I can rap,” 2 Chainz says in reference to their work together. Watch his comments around the 17:30 mark below.
The tracklist reveals features from Phresher, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, X Ambassadors, Skylar Grey, Kehlani and Pink
In addition to Beyoncè (“Walk on Water”), as well as the rumored 2 Chainz effort, Em welcomes a slew of collaborators on Revival, including some artists he’s worked with in the past, on top of other new faces.
Dr. Dre lent his hand for some production work
Allen Hughes, director of the recent four-part documentary on Dr. Dre titled The Defiant Ones, spoke in an interview with Uproxx about Dre’s recent activities – confirming that he is involved in Eminem’s latest. “Right now he’s producing, in the 11th hour, a track for Eminem’s latest album,” he says.
Another seeming confirmation of Dre’s involvement comes courtesy of the aforementioned fake medicinal ads that first announced Revival. One such ad provided a telephone number, which when called played portions of “I Need a Doctor,” Dre’s hit featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey that climbed the charts in 2011.
It is assumed to be the closing part of a trilogy.
The promotional-blitz that heavily skewered the pharmaceutical industry is one of many indicators that Revival will be the closing portion – or at least, a continuation – of a trilogy of albums that began with 2009’s Relapse and continued with 2010’s Recovery. The title alone seems enough to correlate the upcoming album with his previous work.
It’s going to be ‘Trump-centric’
If that BET Awards cypher didn’t clue you in, Eminem is incensed at today’s political landscape, and is taking issue it with it in a more direct fashion than many of his peers are. But it seems that the cypher was but a taste of things to come, if the sources who spoke to Digital Music News are anything to go by.
One source says that the cypher heard round the world may be Revival‘s opening song, saying that “You might even hear that freestyle as track 1.” Another source confirmed that though the album addresses the President, “not every [album] track is about Trump,” but regardless, Eminem is “definitely letting his feelings be known.”
- Cover Image: @eminem / Instagram