"Not Afraid"

"Let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was eh," Eminem admits on "Not Afraid," his therapeutic new single. Even a sicko like Slim Shady couldn't stomach another humorless disc of Lindsay Lohan decapitation fantasies, so he scrapped Relapse II to bring us Recovery, the apparently more introspective disc that's due this summer. "Not Afraid" reflects the new MO: It's part "fuck tha world" rage rap and part rehab-session group hug, complete with lyrics about kicking drugs and booze, and a chorus where Em sings, "Everybody come take my hand/We'll walk this road together." Over a dark, operatic beat, Eminem delivers rhymes that are typically acrobatic — and typically heavy-handed. But the anger has a gathering quality. Em ­reaffirms his commitment to his daughters, says he got sober in part to inspire his fans and promises to purge his craziness: "Time to exercise these demons/These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now."

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