After months of teasing, Eminem’s Revival finally arrived on Friday (December 15) to mixed reviews. One of the strongest criticism was its lack of rap features. Aside from Phresher, who provides the hook on “Chloraseptic,” the rest of the guests spots are held down by pop stars like Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé and P!nk.
During a “Fireside Chat” with SiriusXM Shade45, Slim Shady explained why there was only one rapper on the 19-track effort.
“There’s a couple of things I had in the works that ended up not working out,” he said. “Just ended up not being able to have any rap features apart from Phresher doing the hook on ‘Chloraseptic.'”
Elsewhere in the 45-minute discussion, Eminem opened up about the importance of the last three songs on the album — “In Your Head,” “Castle” and “Arose,” calling them “the key to get me to where I’m at now.” More specifically, he talks about a near-fatal overdose he experienced in 2007.
“When [daughter] Hailie was about to be born, I would always write letters I thought one day I would give her just to have ’em; that’s kind of where the concept came from: Let me start from the beginning,” he explained. “And it goes into the addiction part; The ‘Castle’ song basically takes place in 2007, which leads to the overdose, which leads to Christmas and her birthday and me missing that because I was in the hospital. Me not being there for my kids for Christmas was rough.
“And if you listen to ‘Castles’ all the way through, you hear me taking pills and falling; that was the re-creation of me falling in the bathroom and then waking up in the hospital and not knowing what the fuck was going on,” he added. “I had tubes in me, I was angry and I couldn’t talk at all.”
Despite the polarizing reactions to the project, Revival is still seeped in deeply personal tales from one of Hip Hop’s greatest MCs. As he professed in the album’s lead single “Walk On Water” featuring Beyoncé, “it’s the curse of the standard.”
Listen to the full interview above.