Eminem covers Complex like it's 1998. I love it. All the way down to the beat up magazine aesthetic. Below is the cleaner, more modern alternate cover of the Dec./Jan. issue, and here is the cover story for what the mag is dubbing #EminemWeek. EIC Noah Callahan-Bever recalls hearing "Kim" in the studio 15 years ago and interviews Eminem with a nice series of introspective questions about those times, the time around Recovery, and of course the present-day. It's a very intriguing interview, with Em also showcasing his comedic side throughout. Plus, his favorite TV show is The Wire, and after hearing him become private about it, I can't help but wonder who's on Shady's Fantasy Football team, ha! A nice read so hit the link, sit back and enjoy.
Eminem, winner of the inaugural YouTube Music Award for Artist of the Year, also was one of the highlight performers and Em kept it fresh with the first performance of "Rap God" (as opposed to runnin' "Berzerk" or "Survival" back from SNL). I enjoyed this one after the 2:45 mark or so, much like the song itself, but Em picks it up live too. It looks like he's not missing a word, in even the fastest moments — again, in contrast to SNL where he was lip-synching for parts of it. The visuals, and the entire show, was with Spike Jonze at the helm. I like how it was filmed in black and white, but it was tough to really capture Em at his rawest and I'd critique that the execution could have been better. It's tough though when it's on the fly like this and at the end of the day, we get the rawness of Em above.
With the Eminem buzz at a maximum this week surrounding the release of his upcoming album, MMLP2, on Tuesday, I figured he'd be the perfect subject for our #OldSchoolSundays feature. I'm using this to also spotlight one of the most slept-on albums of the early 2000s: Obie Trice's Cheers.
The fellow D-Town native was Eminem's protege around the time of The Eminem Show and O. Trice's debut album dropped shortly thereafter and was one of my favorites at the time. Obie possessed similar silly and clever one-liners to Slim, but also the lyrical prowess to tell stories that he's experienced. His production was all on point as well, with Cheers becoming the next project that Dre & Eminem worked on (with Timbaland and Emile even helping out with some tracks of their own).
All things combined, Cheers was a great listen from beginning to end and a high school staple for me during the fall of '03. I literally remember those bus rides with the first track highlighted above kicking off my commute. "Lady" is a song that I can come back to 10 years later and feel the same, timeless energy behind Obie and Em's rhymes. It's one of the handful of all-caps *TIBS FAVS. that are on the album.
Another one is what I'll conclude this post on: the music video for "The Setup". Good things happen when Dre & Nate Dogg (R.I.P.) add their stylings to your debut album, and it's Obie Trice's storytelling that gives this one longevity. Contributing to that is the music video that stars Mya and brings it all to life. Another great throwback to watch today. And since we're all in an Eminem mood this week, we should make some time to listen to the entire album — a nostalgic re-listen for me, and perhaps a resonating first listen to our younger readers. Enjoy!
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Obie Trice "The Setup" f/ Nate Dogg (prod. Dr. Dre | starring Mya) [Music Video]
Saturday Night Live last night might've been the best episode of the season. The episode stars the phenomenal actress Kerry Washington from Scandal with musical guest Eminem. Three segments stuck out in my mind. The first, "My Girl", is a spoof of Ylvis' The Fox. The second was the opening skit to the night's episode that pokes fun at SNL's lack of having a black female cast member which was very interesting as Kerry Washington plays various black women celebrities in a span of seconds. The third segment involves Barack Obama's approval ratings. Check out the three skits below and the full episode as well. Enjoy!
Another big-name interview with DJ Whoo Kid on Shade45 today was Nicki Minaj calling in... and she's a little peeved about Drake not having any YMCMB features on Nothing Was The Same. There definitely sounds like a disconnect there, but nothing that I see escalating.
Nicki also talks about her gratitude toward Eminem (for his feature on her first album) and how that even came together. Plus, locking in soon to work on the next project due sometime next year. An interesting listen for even the most casual of Nicki Minaj fans.
Eminem just took the stage on SNL and performed the first two singles off MMLP2: "Berzerk" and "Survival".
Rick Rubin was the surprise DJ for "Berzerk", Skylar Grey brought the hook on "Survival" to life, and Mr. Porter acted as Em's hype man in both performances.
I thought the "Survival" performance was the better of the two, probably because "Berzerk" has so many studio-produced vocals that Em had to lip-sync the chorus and possibly even parts of the verses. Skylar set the tone on "Survival" with her booming rendition of the hook and I found new appreciation for Em's last verse after seeing it performed tonight. Watch both performances ICYMI!
Shoutout to the homie Curt Chambers — the talented singer/songwriter/guitarist, who did the lattter for Em tonight.
A few new Eminem tidbits for you today — first off, the new preview above of the bonus track that comes with Call of Duty: Ghosts "Don't Front". No Buckshot yet, but Em has some nice lines over the raw aesthetic we hear thus far. Lookin' forward to this full version.
Below, he talks about the album and the two most high-profile collabs with Rihannaand Kendrick Lamar. Em says that "Love Game" was recorded weeks before "Control". Peep the audio with DJ Whoo Kid below.
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Eminem Interview with DJ Whoo Kid on Shade45 [Audio]
And finally, the MMLP2 production credits. In fact, all the liner notes. They're too long to post, so hit XXL to view all the deets. Producers include: Rick Rubin (of course), Emile, Streetrunner, DJ Khalil, Eminem himself and Dre is only on board as a mixer.
Ok one more note: tune into SNL tonight to catch Eminem perform. I'll be tuned in and have GWHH updated when the videos hit the interwebs (so you can stay tuned here too :))