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Eminem Drops Surprise New Album, Urges Change to Gun Laws

Eminem Music to Be Murdered By

Eminem surprised fans with an unexpected new album on January 17 titled Music to Be Murdered By. He announced the release with posts on social media.

The cover shows Slim Shady holding an axe to the right side of his head, while his left hand points a gun to his temple. The rapper explained in an Instagram post that the image was inspired by none other than master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

The Grammy-winner rapper also dropped the first single, “Darkness,” and its video at midnight.

The video for “Darkness,” the eighth song on the 20-track album, is even grimmer than the title of the track suggests, and also includes the haunting lyric “Hello darkness my old friend” from Simon & Garfunkel’s hit “The Sound of Silence.” The video opens with a lone Eminem sitting in a dark hotel room. It doesn’t take long before the rapper is reaching for alcohol and pills, and it becomes clear that the video and song are referencing the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured.

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He raps in one verse:

People start to show up, time to start the show up

It’s 10:05 p.m. and the curtain starts to go up

And I’m already sweatin’, but I’m locked and loaded

For rapid fire spitting for all the concertgoers

Scopes for sniper vision, surprise from out of nowhere

As I slide the clip in from inside the hotel, leaning out the window going Keyser Soze

Finger on the trigger, but I’m a licensed owner

With no prior convictions, so lost, the sky’s the limit

So my supply’s infinite, strapped like I’m a soldier

Got ’em hopping over walls and climbing fences

Some of them John Travolta, stayin’ alive by inches

Cops are knockin’, oh fuck, thought I blocked the entrance

Guess show time is over.

The video wraps with a wall of TVs showing news reports of deadly shootings that have happened across the United States. A final message then appears: “When will this end? When enough people care. Register to vote at Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America.”

Em also urges his fans to help end gun violence and support victims on his website, on which he provides a list of groups that are trying to make a difference.

Since its midnight release, the video has already had more than 3 million views.

Music to Be Murdered By features several of Em’s frequent collaborators—including Royce Da 5’9″ and Skylar Grey—but also Ed Sheeran and late rapper Juice WRLD.

Stream the full album below: