Eminem is back with his ninth studio album Revival and is more introspective and political than ever. The Detroit rapper released the album on December 15 and featured appearances from Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, X Ambassadors, Skylar Grey, Kehlani, Pink and Beyoncé, which sings on the album’s lead single “Walk On Water.” Now Slim Shady has dropped his first video for the album, with the somber and personal “Walk On Water.”
Starting the video off solo, a hooded Eminem has washed the blonde out of his hair and sits alone on an empty stage in front of a microphone. The audience eventually fills up, with Em taking the mic and transforming into several versions of his former self. Shots of the now brunette rapper are interspliced with multiple copies of Eminem sitting in front of a typewriter acting out the infinite monkey theorem, initially writing random letters until forming lyrics from some of his biggest songs.
Using CGI, the Detroit skyline appears behind Eminem on stage and later turns into an ice wasteland, which Eminem crosses alone as he reveals his fear over releasing new music and not finding the glory of his former albums, eventually coming to terms with his success and informing the listener he does acknowledge his own greatness. He did write Stan, after all. It just took a lot of Eminems in one room with many typewriters.
While it’s exciting to hear and see new music and videos from Slim Shady, there are two big disappointments with “Walk On Water.” The first is that Beyoncé, who performs the chorus, doesn’t appear in the video. The second is that the always problematic rapper not only used but decided to not bleep out a derogatory slur in an early line. It’s always been difficult to be an Eminem fan and that continues to be the case.