The Eminem and Rick Rubin Effect..
Rick Rubin has a signature sound that is prominent in acts such as the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and recently Eminem's last album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. On Eminem's new album Revival, we have 3 Rick Rubin produced tracks that include "Remind Me," "Heat," and "Arose" where we hear that hard-hitting rock-influenced boom-bap production that gasses up every emcee.
"Remind Me" is the first part of a two part story about his early beginnings with ex-wife Kim that finishes with "Bad Husband." The fun, but reflective track that samples Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," speaks on the moment that he met his ex-wife Kim alluding to his old track, "Crazy in Love." In a way Eminem speaks on the "honeymoon phase" before all the trials and tribulations. The track sounds straight off The Marshall Mathers LP 2 with Rubin sampling rock like he did for "Berzerk" sampling Billy Squier's "The Stroke," and "So Far..." sampling Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good." Rubin's playful production leads to one of the most enjoyable tracks off Revival complete with satirical punchlines mentioning everyone from Snoop Dogg, Anna Nicole Smith to young rapper Token who people were coining the next Eminem.
"I spot you at first glance and go, "shit!"
You wearin' those pants that don't fit
That butt won't ever give up
That's why you stick it out no matter what
'Cause you got an ass that won't quit"
"Heat" is the favourite off the album bringing everything to the table that we have come to love about Eminem. The track sees Eminem lyrically at his best on the album, packed with a Donald Trump diss that is sure to make every American cheer in joy poking fun at his "locker room talk." Rick Rubin sets the tone giving Eminem an electric-guitar-driven beat that he can rap his ass off about whatever comes to mind. What is essentially an extended freestyle or simply Eminem bodying the beat, I can't imagine a different name for the song as it really is "heat," especially with the Mark Wahlberg outro.
"Grab you by the (meow!), hope it's not a problem, in fact
About the only thing I agree on with Donald is that
So when I put this palm on your cat
Don't snap, it's supposed to be grabbed
Why do you think they call it a snatch? "
"Arose" recaps his drug addiction and how his death could have impacted those around him. Rubin's production makes the song that much more powerful as if time is ticking–running out of time. The emotion driven "Arose" uses Rubin's production in a different way than the other two tracks, emphasizing or acting as a catalyst to Eminem's affection and grief. Rubin's production and Eminem's vocals work together to reiterate a sense of regret, but at the same time capture a feeling of gratitude.
"If I could rewind time like a tape
Inside a boombox, one day for every pill or Percocet that I ate
Cut down on the Valium, I'da heard everything
But death is turning so definite, wait"
You can stream the 3 tracks below and find "Heat" and "Arose" on the City Soundcheck playlist via Spotify. Refer to Rap Genius for a more in depth breakdown of the lyrics. Check out Eminem's collab with Phresher titled, "Chloraseptic" here.