Earlier today first came the announcement of a new Eminem album — Shady XV — with Em himself confirming what the new spot for The Equalizer indicated.
From the quick teaser, it looks like we’ll be seeing a commemorative greatest hits album of Eminem celebrating his 15-year career since the release of his 1999 debut, The Slim Shady LP. One of, hopefully, a few new original tracks is “Guts Over Fear” above as Eminem links up with Sia once again for a powerful, serious single that features a transparent Mathers talking about overcoming fear in an industry that demanded so much from him and to act a certain way. Hence the title “Guts Over Fear”. Em also contemplates his legacy, where does he go from here, and explains the constant “tug-of-war” in his mindset up through what may indeed be his retirement. If he goes out with this big single, it will be supremely fitting.
Meanwhile, Sia kills the hook — a two-parter that features more lyrics in the first and a more booming delivery mainly emanating the song title in the second part. More specifically, she kills the word over so keep your ears peeled to the details. In the usual, contemporary Eminem fashion, he also spills the end of his verse into the words of the hook. While lately, I feel the execution on this has been wonky, it’s well-executed in “Guts Over Fear”, especially going into the last hook.
This leads me back to the verses as it’s Eminem at his realest, culminating each verse with a goal in mind to deliver his story for his legions of fans to draw parallels to and inspiration from. In fact, the last verse builds off the story of the first in a chilling fashion similar to “Lose Yourself” (albeit in a completely different, yet ultimately motivational way). My one critique is that I don’t quite resonate with the production, specifically during Em’s verses, but after a couple repeat listens it’s not killin’ it for me either and actually starting to grow on me. Eminem’s message really stands out that much. Take a few listens to digest the deep insight into Marshall Mathers for yourself!
UPDATE: Shady XV will be a 2-disc album — the first disc will contain Eminem’s greatest hits and the second will be a compilation of new music from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, D12 and Yelawolf. Dope!
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