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.
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 Vote.gov. 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.
Stream the full album below: