“I walk on water, but I ain’t no Jesus,” hums Beyoncé on the new Eminem single, “Walk on Water.” Page turning frustrations and swearing from Eminem can be heard underneath the piano ballad, which tackles his struggles with living up to the expectations of others and the unreachable heights he set with his wild success in the early aughts while embracing the obvious biblical metaphor at hand. “Walk on Water” is the first time Beyoncé and Eminem have collaborated, and hopefully it is also the last.
If not for Beyoncé’s vocals on the track, “Walk on Water” would be just another forgetful bid for relevance, and the unlikely collaboration between the pair is proof that Beyoncé is way too nice. Living in his own shadow, Eminem raps about the uncertainty he feels in regards to surpassing the high bar set by his prior success, but for a track that seemingly was written to promote themes of humility and modesty, some of his verses reveal otherwise.
After rapping about his inability to live up to the legacy of his idols—Nas, B.I.G., god, you know, the usual suspects—and comparing his own inner workings to the complexity of solving a Rubik’s cube, he ends the song by rhyming, “‘Cause I’m just a man but as long as I got a mic I’m godlike, so me and you are not alike. B—h, I wrote ‘Stan’!” punctuated by record scratch effects. When Kendrick Lamar asked his competition last year to “be humble, sit down,” he probably didn’t mean for Marshall Mathers to pen an entire track about being humble only to end it with a reminder to us all that he is also the guy who wrote “Stan.”
After Eminem’s return at the BET Hip-Hop Awards, wherein he debuted a new music video for “The Storm,” a takedown of Donald Trump, the rapper is gearing up for an alleged November 17 release date for his new album, one day before his scheduled appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Chance the Rapper will be the host, and his close relationship with “Auntie Yoncé” coupled with the release of “Walk on Water” might mean that the Queen Bey herself could make a cameo on stage as well.
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