The year is 2020 and Eminem has released a surprise album.
The 47-year-old rapper dropped a new record called Music to Be Murdered By at midnight on Friday. The massive, 20-track record had not been previously announced, and it follows his largely panned record Kamikaze, which was similarly released without notice in 2018.
Like his previous recent albums, this one has plenty of guest features, including Ed Sheeran, Royce da 5'9", Anderson .Paak, Black Thought, Skylar Grey, Young M.A and the late Juice WRLD, whose unexpected death shocked many fans last month.
As with pretty much all of Em's previous records, Music to Be Murdered By is sure to attract plenty of critics, starting with its controversial title. He has also shared a video for the track "Darkness," which directly references multiple mass shootings, with special emphasis on the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, which claimed 59 lives with more than 800 injuries at a country music festival.
In the song and in the video itself, Eminem is narrating from the perspective of the Las Vegas shooter while also alluding to questions and doubts about his own career. After the shooter kills himself, as the actual perpetrator did in 2017, the clip closes with a powerful visual of television screens showing dramatized news coverage of the countless real-life shootings in America.
As the screen fades to black, Em makes his plea to viewers with a message onscreen. "Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America," the text says, asking people to register to vote.
Hear the album and watch the James Larese-directed video for "Darkness" below.