In 50 years, I'll ask my grandkids, “Do you wanna hear about my time in the war?” And they’ll reply, “For the last time, grandpa, defending Eminem’s Revival album on Twitter doesn’t make you a war vet.”
It's true. I actually enjoyed (most of) Eminem’s recent, already infamous album Revival. An album so heavily despised that it’s a felony to enjoy it. In some states, you could get 25 to life if you blast “Walk On Water.”
I’ll admit that I'm biased, I'm a lifelong stan. This is the third article I’ve written about Eminem, which is five too many. But the hatred for Revival is palpable. People are reacting to the album as if Hitler himself recorded it on GarageBand and released it for download exclusively on a child porn site.
I'll also admit the album is heavily flawed. The social commentary on “Untouchable” is smothered by a hectic, overproduced beat that sounds like a group of homeless men hitting each other with trash cans, and “Nowhere Fast” sounds like a theme song from a Disney movie about a friendly vampire finding the true meaning of Christmas.
But there are some gems here. “Bad Husband,” despite a corny hook, is a powerful (and LONG overdue) apology to Kim that gave me chills. “Castle” and “Arose” are two of Em's best songs in recent memory, even though their titles sound like names of poems that an emo 7th grader wrote.
At first, I loathed “Walk On Water.” I wondered if Beyoncé was forced to record the hook at gunpoint. When I first listened to it on Apple Music, I almost threw my phone into the pool until I realized I'd lose my spank bank. But I like it now. It grew on me, like a tumor. Like a cheesy, melodramatic tumor.
Plus, I appreciate the Trump disses. Obviously, he’s not the first rapper to bash 45—and he won't be the last—but when Em shits on Trump, he’s not preaching to the choir, he has a lot of Trump-supporting fans that are listening and shaking with rage. Their palms get sweaty, their knees get weak, their arms get heavy, and there’s vomit on their “Make America Great Again” hat already.
I dig Revival. It’s flawed, but I dig it.
And goddammit it’s ruining my life.
I’m like a professional Revival defender now. Terrible career choice. I come home from a long day of defending Revival, loosen my tie and vent about how stressful it is to my wife and kids. I don’t even have a wife and kids. And if I did, they’d leave me for liking Revival.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to defend the bar “your booty is heavy duty like diarrhea”?! Do you have ANY IDEA how hard it is to defend “she wants a computer lodged in her vagina, said my dick is an Apple, she said put it inside her”?!?! A mission that truly is impossible.
I haven’t had an easy life. In 11th grade, I was hospitalized for untreated bipolar disorder. I’ve had best friends pass away in gory freak accidents and drug overdoses. BUT, defending Revival is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through.
I can already see your angry comments being typed out. Things like “fuck u, Drew, Revival is TRASH” and “Eminem’s new beard makes him look like an Italian woman!” And obviously, that second one is true.
At it’s best (“Castle,” “Arose”) Revival is a reminder of why I fell in love with Em’s music in the first place. At its worst (“Remind Me,” “Nowhere Fast”) it sounds like a child reading a Dr. Suess book.
Despite the trials and tribulations of being a Professional Revival Defender™️, I have faith that Slim can still win back everyone after hearing that insane Chloraseptic Remix.
But until then, I should at least be grateful that I'm not defending Relapse.