I saw Southpaw last night and came away with the favorable impression I expected. I’ll actually save some thoughts for another post tomorrow, but in the meantime, Eminem dropped an all-new lyric video for one of his two main singles on the soundtrack — “Kings Never Die” with Gwen Stefani. This one hasn’t quite grown on me as much as “Phenomenal” but hearing it during the end credits last night was pretty fitting. Plus, following along to Eminem’s lyrics in a visual like this could definitely help the cause. Check it out with me above.
Today the Southpaw Soundtrack is available on all streaming services so below enjoy the mix of new and old tracks that feature 50 Cent, PRhyme featuring Logic, The Weeknd, and needless to say Eminem, amongst others.
If you’ve been up on the previews, then you’re probably starting at track 06 — new Bad Meets Evil “Raw” — and then track 09 “All I Think About”. Some great moments on both of these throughout as it brings me back to some old Shady. Enjoy!
Classic, vintage Eminem.
Sway got Shady to spit for 6 minutes straight, a capella, and no celebrity was safe. Like, literally no one. Bill Cosby. Countless female celebs from present and past. Even Caitlyn Jenner with probably Em’s most controversial line.
Em’s wit and wordplay is at that elite level where he rhymes within lines and creates all sort of alliterations that also make sense to the actual content of the rap. Whoo! On that note, I’m playin’ this again. The genius is still heavy.
Eminem, in a rare new interview, had a lot to say to the New York Times and most interestingly to me talked about his mindset when it comes to a solo album. I hope he explores new sounds if he goes that route. Here’s a wide amount of tidbits below and the full read here.
Has being a father to teenagers changed how you think about your music?
“Not really. I think as you get older, you start — I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t really change. I guess I get more mature, but I don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’m still a dad. You just go with the flow. But work is still work, and when I’m working, I’m focused on that.”
Do you show your kids your music?
“I’ve been trying to not focus as much on them, because I’ve done that and I don’t want to hinder their lives. I feel like the more that I talk about that, the harder their lives are.”
What’s your relationship like with 50 Cent these days? He’s on the soundtrack and in the movie.
“Same as it’s always been, pretty much. I love Fif’, man.”
Does Dre come to you about business, like with Beats?
“We always still do that. But I never thought the headphone thing — it came out of nowhere. I remember we were in Hawaii, and we were recording songs for “Detox” and for “Recovery.” Jimmy [Iovine] wanted us to do a photo shoot with the headphones on. Of course I’m gonna do it — it’s Jimmy and it’s Dre. But I’m thinking: “All right, can we get to the music? I just want to get back and record.” I remember thinking like: “How big is this thing going to be? It’s headphones.” But man, I should’ve known just based on Dre’s name alone. And Jimmy’s like the Great Gazoo, from “The Flintstones.” Somehow he has the foresight to always know what’s up. Sometimes I just don’t know what’s up. It blew my mind.”
Are you plugged in with current rap music?
“I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.”
Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.
“Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.”
Where do you hear new stuff?
“Other people tell me about it and pull it up for me. I wait for other people to show it to me. I don’t particularly go on the Internet, because the experiences that I’ve had are not good. It’s not productive for me.”
You don’t want to Google your own name?
“Once I’m on the computer, it’s over, because I’m tempted to look at everything. I went on the computer recently and got on one site, read five comments and was like, “Man.” I have friends that do it — rapper friends. I’m like, “I don’t know how you do that.” Because you end up wanting to fight someone, kill them, or kill yourself — usually all three at once.”
Do you think Twitter and Instagram have affected rap?
“I know there are a lot of Twitter beefs. People used to just make songs. But it is what it is. The world’s forever changing, and you’ve just gotta adapt and evolve.”
What is your day-to-day life like in between albums?
“A lot of work. I’m usually in the studio five to six days a week, trying to think of my next move. Every now and then, I’ll reassess where I’m at in my career. I’m usually trying to think of what I’m going to do next.”
Are you working on a solo album?
“Not as of yet. But I’m just trying to figure out what to do next musically. There’ll be a certain page that I get on, and I’m like, “O.K., I’ve done it this way.” Sometimes I think that if I get comfortable or set in my ways of doing something, maybe I should step back for a minute and figure out how to mix it up a little bit.”
Do you feel like you’re still topping yourself?
“I feel like I’m still trying to. And sometimes I don’t know if that’s always a good thing. I don’t want to make it so that by the time I’m done with a song, you didn’t even understand what just happened. That’s what I try not to do. I’m my own worst nightmare in that sense.”
Because you’re so technically proficient that you can take it to a place where faster and more complicated isn’t always better?
“Yeah, that’s what I mean. Sometimes that’s cool, if the song calls for it. But if I end up starting to record for another album, I want to make sure I approach it the right way.”
He’s so incredible. He’s a real artist. He’s a real weirdo.
Gwen continues to ET, “I just finally got the call. It was one of those days where they were like, ‘Can you come do this?’ And I was like, ‘Really? Really?’ And they were like, ‘It has to be done today.’ And I was like, ‘Ok!’ And I just made it happen.”
“I went down there and my voice happened to not be working that day, and I was like, ‘Ok perfect — like, the one time I get asked to be on the Eminem song!?’ I don’t know – I just prayed really hard and the engineer made it come to life.”
“I’m driving, literally driving in the minivan with all my kids in the car… and on Bluetooth, somebody calls. And I’m like, ‘Hello?’ And it was him!” Stefani recounted. “And he’s like, ‘Hey just wanted to say thanks for doing the song. And I was like, ‘You don’t understand — I have all my kids in the car. You can’t call me right now. All my kids are in the car! Don’t say any bad words!’ I was literally going to soccer practice. But I was like, ‘I’m gonna make your song so cool!'”
Watch the video of Gwen saying the above at ET. This was the type of fun anecdotes I was looking for about their new single “Kings Never Die” since the collab kind of came out of left field. Nice to hear Gwen’s praise as this single continues to grow on me.
Count Eminem as one of the early superstar adopters of Apple Music as he debuted the trailer through the new streaming service on launch day.
Man, how “Phenomenal” has grown on me. I’ve narrowed down that the end of the first verse and beginning of the second verse are my favorite moments of Eminem’s verses overall.
Now he’s got the makings of an amazing, motivational video on deck, shot somewhere in Asia and truly doubling as an action film as Apple Music tweeted earlier today. I’m psyched for the trailer and already downloaded Apple Music so I’ll await the video soon.
Also tune into Zane Lowe on Apple Music tomorrow (I listened today, in fact… more on that here…) as Marshall will be Zane’s first guest on his new streaming radio show through the service.
ICYMI: The Southpaw Soundtrack
UPDATE 07.24.15: Here’s the full stream. After seeing the movie, the soundtrack fits even better than you may think on paper. And yeah… go see the movie. Great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.
UPDATE: The real tracklist is released today and is perhaps even more intriguing than the fake one. Eminem & Gwen Stefani?! That sounds like it could be cool. Plus, a tribute to the late James Horner, who passed away over the weekend in a tragic plane crash. The legendary composer has “Cry For Love” on the intro/outro. All executive produced by Eminem and in stores July 24th.
06.12.15: Today, Shady Records revealed the cover art above for the upcoming soundtrack to Southpaw, executive produced by the one and only Eminem.
Out now on the Soundtrack is “Phenomenal”, which I initially greeted with a mediocre review. As the Beats commercials have steadily played throughout this NBA Finals, the hit-or-miss hook grew on me to ‘hit’ status and further listens of the single have put it in *Tibs Fav. status. The non-melodic flows still get to me, but I can’t ignore the words and the subtle woman’s voice that adds a punch to the production.