Just over an hour ago, Eminem released his new single "Walk on Water," a somber, Rick Rubin-produced ballad featuring an assist from Beyoncé.
Fan reaction to the single has been, as expected, a total mixed bag, with everyone chiming in to say they either love the record or hate it, but social media isn't the only location where that conversation is taking place.
As soon as the song was released, the DJBooth Slack chat went up in flames over "Walk on Water," with several of our staff members making the boldest of proclamations. "Eminem is Macklemore with more personality," Yoh wrote.
For your reading pleasure, I asked all of our staff members for their permission to publish a full transcript of our Slack discussion about "Walk on Water."
While they didn't really have a choice in the matter, they all agreed.
P.S. If you're offended by any of Sermon's commentary, let us know. We've been thinking about cleaning house in our research department for quite some time.
Sermon: The new Eminem single features Beyoncé.
Donna: JAY-Z would never allow this.
Andy: W T F
Sermon: Watch it be a sample or something.
Brendan: Listening now, she does the chorus.
Sermon: Where are you listening?
Brendan: Dark web.
Andy: I hate this already.
Donna: I cannot believe you're making me hear this with my own ears.
Sermon: Em not being corny like his usual first singles is an automatic win. Yeah, I like this.
Matt: I'm kinda liking this. I'll take reflective Eminem all day if he's willing to do it.
Sermon: Absolutely. Much better than a shock attempt single.
Matt: Did we just become best friends, Sermon?
Yoh: Beyoncé sounds great.
Z: Rick Rubin produced the new single. It would be something if he did the whole album, a la Jay and No I.D.
Dylan: This is "Love The Way You Lie 2.0"
Matt: "Love The Way You Lie" is one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my life. This was passable if not encouraging.
Yoh: Eminem is Macklemore with more personality.
Z: Yoh, c'mon.
Yoh: Guys. This single is a Macklemore song.
Brendan: If you weren't around in the 11th Century to hear the chants of the Benedictine monks, I don't want to hear your opinion on Beyoncé's singing.
Matt: We need to draw some parameters around Eminem slander.
Sermon: Would you prefer Eminem get introspective over "Just Lose It" type of beats, Yoh?
Matt: I guess that begs the question, what do y'all want from Em then?
Z: It's not about what anyone of us wants from him.
Andy: "Walk on Water" is for people who applauded Russ' anti-drug t-shirt.
Yoh: I don’t have a preference in this fight. I’m not even calling it bad. But call a spade a spade.
Z: It's about what is going to be a massive, worldwide record. This is going to be No. 1 next week.
Dylan: Without question.
Matt: But I mean, what would it take for Eminem to receive more praise than criticism at this point?
Andy: Make good music. This sounds like a Beyoncé song that was given to Eminem. Like "Monster."
Brendan: I’d like to see him use his platform to stand against Trump somehow...
Andy: I appreciate his reflection on this song but I have no idea what he's trying to achieve musically. It sounds like he's aiming for chart success rather than artistic (particularly sonic/stylistic) progression.
Z: He is.
Andy: I'm that "Em needs to make an album with El-P and Premo" dude.
Z: Never happening.
Brendan: Is G-Eazy cooler than Eminem?
Andy: G-Eazy attracts chicks. Eminem attracts your auntie.
Z: How would you all feel about us publishing this Slack chat?
Andy: Disclaimer: I am in no way a G-Eazy fan.
Dylan: He’s a legacy artist at this point. Anything he makes is gonna sell like cake whether it’s good or bad.
Andy: And that, I think, is my biggest gripe. The sales are gonna take care of themselves. He has so much rope to work with but only seems to use the frayed bit at the end.
Matt: As much I would love to hear Em over a Premier track, how do you feel like that would help him at this point?
Andy: It's telling that when we talk about Em singles, it's either a pop ballad or him spazzing out at 300-bars-a-minute.
Matt: Em was best when he blended the hypocrisy of pop culture with his own issues and status within rap. But as pop culture shifted, he didn't.
Brendan: 1. Get Rick Rubin. 2. Simplify music back to its basics. 3. Reflect on life from a matured point of view. Em’s pretty much following the blueprint he needs to. The 3 steps to putting out an old man rap album.
Andy: I'd rather remember AI for the player he was than have to watch him play in Turkey.