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The Inspiration Behind Eminem’s ‘Walk on Water’ Was Mumble Rap

Eminem dropped his latest single, ‘Walk on Water’, featuring Beyoncé, from his upcoming album, Revival, on Friday and as you might expect from the internet in 2017, his fans have been going over his lyrics with a fine comb, looking for hidden messages and meanings.

But it turns out that they need not have bothered, as the 45-year-old rapper was joined by producer Rick Rubin and journalist Malcolm Gladwell for a new ‘Broken Record’ podcast, with the three of them discussing the personal themes the new single deals with.

“When you start out in your career, you have a blank canvas, so you can paint anywhere that you want because the shit ain’t been painted on yet,” Eminem said.

“And then your second album comes out, and you paint a little more and you paint a little more by the time you get to your seventh and eighth album you’ve already painted all over it. There’s nowhere else to paint.”

The superstar also described how he was influenced by the expectations of his fans every time he puts out a new record and ‘mumble rap’, a hip-hop sub-genre with notable artists including Future, Lil Yachty and Young Thug.

Rubin said that Shady first heard the chorus by chance, after the pair of them had just been discussing mumble rap, and it stuck with him.

“For him, it’s a little bit of culture shock because there’s a new wave of hip-hop that’s not really what he’s about, so he was just talking to me about how that felt,” Rubin said. “I could see he was frustrated by it.”

“It’s a very mortal song,” Em added. “It’s, you know, not being Superman, and what if I can’t come up with the best shit I’ve ever wrote every single time?”

Eminem and Rubin also discussed his first rhymes, and artists such as Ice-T, Beastie Boys and Frank Zappa, but Em had some particularly high praise for Tupac.

Speaking about the inconic rapper, Eminem said: “He always knew the right words to say on the right chords. I studied that so much and he was so genius at doing it.

“He never said the wrong thing on the wrong chord. Go listen to ‘Dear Mama’, every bar was so in place where it should be. He was so smart about picking his beats. Tupac always said feel me and you have to feel him and not just hear him.”

 

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