Eminem has finally returned with his first official single since 2012. It’s titled Walk on Water, and it features guest vocals from the one and only Beyoncé. It’s the first single from Eminem’s upcoming album, which appears to be titled Revival.
Walk on Water is the perfect welcome-back track for an artist of Eminem’s calibre (and age). He confronts the notion that he’s a Rap God; on the hook, Bey sings, “I walk on water, but I ain’t no Jesus, I walk on water, only when it freezes.” He addresses his demons and critics, revealing that his bar is set so high that, no matter what he releases, he’ll never match it. He feels the pressure, he hears the critics, he ponders whether his comeback is the right move, or whether it’ll just damage his legacy and reputation.
Coming from a guy who once said, “If I ever leave Earth, that would be the death of me first / ‘Cause in my heart of hearts I know nothin’ could ever be worse / That’s why I’m clever when I put together every verse,” it’s a pretty huge admission, albeit completely valid (if a little self-deprecating for one of the greatest lyricists of all time).
This is Eminem at his most revealing in years, perhaps his most humble, well, ever. And it’s the right direction for his new album.
It feels like Walk on Water is an introductory track rather than the lead single. While it sets a tone, it probably isn’t the tone for the album. The suddenly, hilariously aggressive final line, “I’m just a man, but as long as I got a mic, I’m god-like, so you and me are not alike, bitch, I wrote Stan!” is a pretty telling indicator there’s a lot of fire left in him.
And we can’t bloody wait to hear what that is.
Walk on Water follows on from a recent politically-charged cypher at the BET Awards, which saw Eminem throwing punch after venomous punch at Donald Trump. He’s also recently reared his head on the PINK track Revenge, and earlier this year, featured on No Favours, from Big Sean’s I Decided. Late last year he delivered the stunning seven-minute slasher Campaign Speech, also focusing on Donald Trump.
Welcome back, Eminem. We missed you.