Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

'Music to be Murdered by': Eminem shocks fans with surprise new album

The album has already drawn heavy criticism for its content, and one song in particular that references the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing

Eminem has released a surprise new album. Courtesy of Flash Entertainment
Eminem has released a surprise new album. Courtesy of Flash Entertainment

In what is fast becoming a habit from one of the world's most famous rappers, Eminem surprised fans by releasing a new album on Friday, seemingly out of nowhere.

Entitled Music to be Murdered By, Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, announced his new compilation on Twitter.

"It's your funeral..." his tweet simply read, which was followed by a picture of the album cover art.

But already, in the few hours since its release, Eminem has come under fire for its content. Fans have called a line in one of his new tracks "disgusting" for a reference to the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing following an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people.

In his song Unaccommodating, he raps: “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game / Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.”

It isn't the first time he's made reference to the tragedy either, having rapped about it in a 2018 freestyle battle rap.

If the title of the album itself sounds familiar, that might mean you're an Alfred Hitchcock fan, as is Eminem himself.

The album name is the same as the one that adorned the front of the 1958 music record that featured the famous film director.

The rapper acknowledged this in another tweet, saying his album was "inspired by the master", posting an image of the Jeff Alexander album, Alfred Hitchcock presents Music to Be Murdered By, which features Hitchcock holding an axe and a gun.

One of Eminem's new tracks is called Alfred, of which a 30-second clip of the song has been released, which just features the famed filmmaker speaking.

The album features collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Royce Da 5'9", Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun, White Gold, Young M.A, KXNG Crooked, Joell Ortiz, Don Toliver, Anderson .Paak and Juice WRLD, who died in December.

Alongside the album announcement, he also released the music video for his first track, Darkness.

Eminem released his last record, 2018's Kamikaze, in a similar fashion. However, that album was renown for being politically-charged, and featured several references to US President Donald Trump.

The surprise release was seemingly big news for UAE fans too, with the rapper's name and album title quickly becoming one of the biggest trending topics on social media.

Eminem has a large fan base here in the Emirates, which he paid a visit to in October last year when he brought his Kamikaze world tour to Abu Dhabi’s du Arena. It was his first live show in eight months.

The National's concert reviewer that day was devout Eminem fan Katy Gillet, who called it "a show of two halves" as the rapper served both his older and younger fan bases.

However, Gillet acknowledged the "the atmosphere was electric".

"What really struck me was the energy Eminem displayed on-stage," she said.

The National’s music expert, Saeed Saeed, who has seen the rapper perform on four occasions – including the last time he was at du Arena in 2012 – said he had brought "something new" to the UAE.

Denaun Porter, left, with Eminem and The Alchemist on stage in Abu Dhabi at du Arena on Friday, October 25, 2019. Instagram / @alanthealchemist
Denaun Porter, left, with Eminem and The Alchemist on stage in Abu Dhabi at du Arena on Friday, October 25, 2019. Instagram / @alanthealchemist

"Normally, Eminem, when he performs he’s very broody, very intense and his intensity makes the show great. But this time he was very open, there was lots of crowd interaction – and that’s a new side of him. I think he’s now enjoying performing and he’s really stepped up his game when it comes to his showmanship.”

Updated: January 17, 2020 02:58 PM

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