Eminem kicked off the MTV EMAs on Sunday with the live premiere of his melancholy new single, “Walk on Water.” While Beyonce guests on the song, her role was filled by Skylar Grey, who co-wrote the song and also co-wrote Em’s 2012 collaboration with Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie.” The pair were also joined by a string section.
Eminem took full advantage of the giant stage sprawling across the floor of the Wembley SSE in London: An image of moving water was displayed onto the stage for the rapper’s performance, naturally enough giving the impression of him walking on water. (Below is an excerpt, we’ll swap in the full video when it becomes available.)
Later in the show Em won the Best Hip-Hop Artist award, a curious choice because, as he said, “I’m not really sure how I got this ’cause I haven’t had an album out for a few years,” but he took the opportunity to thank his fans and MTV and to shout out Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B-Real “For so much inspiration, these guys are like gods to me.”
The song was released on Friday and is the first single from the rapper’s new album, which is apparently called “Revival” and, although it has no official release date, is expected to drop at any time between now and the end of the year. The album’s title, which was at the center of an elaborate fake advertising campaign teased by Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg earlier in the month, could complete Eminem’s sequence of albums referencing his admitted struggles with prescription drugs, 2009’s “Relapse” and 2010’s “Recovery.” His most recent album was 2013’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.”
Last month during the BET Hip-Hop Awards, the rapper delivered a ferocious freestyle takedown of President Trump called “Storm.“