Fresh off the heels of releasing his eleventh full length studio album Music to Be Murdered By, released via Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records, the prolific Detroit rapper/producer Eminem has recently responded to his haters and critics alike. Eminem surprised his fans when, unbeknownst to them, he released brand new material in the form of a fully stacked 20 track full length album on Friday, January 17. This was in a similar fashion as he did for his previous album 2018’s Kamikaze. It’s safe to say that there were varying opinions on Eminem’s latest musical offering, even though it has faired better than the last few albums he’s released, it hasn’t been quite a full return to form. Eminem has also been privy to criticisms from his detractors and those who don’t welcome his usual controversial antics. According to NME, “The rap legend faced widespread criticism from the likes of Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and The Courteeners’ Liam Fray after he seemingly made light of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack on ‘Unaccommodating.’”
Eminem was not without leaving a positive or progressive impression on his audience. The lead single off Music to Be Murdered By titled “Darkness” paints a vivid painstakingly blunt message felt along with its accompanied music video. As previously reported in the aforementioned NME article, “The album also includes the visceral track ‘Darkness’, which sees Eminem calling for gun control measures as he raps from the perspective of the shooter who killed more than 50 people at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest music festival in 2017.” The polarizing video for “Darkness” depicts the events of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting in the perspective of the shooter and alternating between the perspective of Eminem himself.
In response to his detractors, Eminem responded head-on in an open letter, “…Eminem said the album was deliberately attempting to ‘shock the conscience’ in an attempt to bring about societal change.” In a twitter post marked Thursday, January 23, before addressing the reader, he partially quotes himself from the lyrics to the 2001 Jay-Z song “Renegade” for which he’s featured on, “‘Cause, see, they call me a menace and if the shoe fits, I’ll wear it. But if it don’t, then y’all will swallow the truth, grin and bear it’
#Renegade #MusicToBeMurderedBy.” The formal letter begins with:
“Gentle listener: In today’s wonderful world murder has become so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I thought why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats? So before you jump the gun, allow me to explain.
“This album was not made for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you. Certain selections have been designed to shock the conscience, which may cause positive action. Unfortunately, darkness has truly fallen upon us.”
The NME article concludes with further coming to the conclusion of Eminem’s letter, “…the rapper stressed that ‘murder in this instance isn’t literal’ and asked his critics to ‘listen more closely next time.'” The cherry on top is that Eminem signs the letter with deepest sympathy.
Music To Be Murdered By was a work inspired by filmmaking iconic autor Alfred Hitchcock and was executive produced by both Eminem (credited as his alter-ego, Slim Shady) and Dr. Dre. The album features appearances by Young M.A., Royce Da 5’9″, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Ed Sheeran, Anderson .Paak and more.