A decade ago, the prospect of Eminem guesting on the record of the most popular dance-pop singer on the charts, whose upcoming album has the lofty and ALL CAPS titel ARTPOP , would seem–well, it’d seem as ridiculous as anything Em’s done lately. This is Eminem 4.0, the guy who put Rihanna on a purposefully plodding emo-rap song and whose Bad Meets Evil project had a weighty single with a Bruno Mars hook.
No, the surprising part about this story is that Lady Gaga let Eminem on the record. You can split her collaborations into two parts: the part before she became Lady Gaga and basically had to do tracks with the likes of Colby O’Donis, Wale and NKOTB, and the part afterward, where her collaborators were few and noticeably higher-profile: Beyonce, Tony Bennett, The Lonely Island. Eminem’s got stature, sure, but this isn’t exactly his career peak. It makes a little more sense when you consider that Aftermath (and Interscope, with Gaga) rapper Kendrick Lamar’s also on the track, after weeks of rumors. It’s like Mariah Carey getting Meek Mill on her single: the mentor comes with the mentee.
Still, though. Still:
“Yeah, I got this crazy record with Gaga and Kendrick for the upcoming LP”, Eminem told MTV Rapfix early Saturday morning. “Its called “Street Lights”, and its just a real upbeat record.”
When asked if the collaboration would be be released as a single, Em said, “Definitely. We don’t have a release date yet, but it’ll be after Slaughterhouse’s album.”
Right. Going by Em’s singles, he’s not doing anything specifically verboten, like bolstering Britney or Christina’s careers or doing a guest rap for The Wanted or making a foray into K-pop (“All you little boy and girl groups…”) or jumping on the dance bandwagon (“It’s over! Nobody listens to techno!” Ignore the fact that “Without Me” basically was techno.) But going off-record, he did make some not exactly conciliatory comments toward Gaga last year on a Bad Meets Evil track.
…Actually, no. It’s pointless trying to analyze this any more. Collaborations are how the music industry works. They’re how Eminem’s career works, they’re apparently how ARTPOP (ZOMG) works, and the best thing to do is just hope it’s actually good.
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