Rolling Stone's new cover subject, Eminem, riffs on the Eighties' stuttering sci-fi character and soda spokesman Max Headroom in the teaser for his "Rap God" video, which debuts in full next Wednesday. The track comes off his most recent album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. For less than half a minute, Em flickers about a neon landscape of cubical lines dressed like the computer-like character, which debuted in 1984 and became its own TV series, Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future, in 1987. He wears a dark suit and a skinny black tie, and, occasionally, a pair of pitch-black Ray Bans dart on and off his face. As the track begins, he mimics the audio samples as if they're his words, which eventually reveal themselves as the elements that make up a logo treatment at the end of the clip, spelling out "Rap God."
The track generated controversy for Slim Shady earlier this year when his use of homophobic slurs in the song put him under fire. Singer Sia, who is openly queer and appears on the MMLP2 song "Beautiful Pain," has offered to donate her royalties from her Eminem collaboration to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. The rapper defended his use of slurs to Rolling Stone, saying, "Those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin' or whatever, I never really equated those words [to mean homosexual]."
In the Rolling Stone feature, Eminem candidly address his sobriety and love of hip-hop. "I'm as happy as I can be, I guess," he said. "Hip-hop saved my life, man. It's the only thing I've ever been even decent at. I don't know how to do anything else. I think they have a word for that — what do they call it? Idiot savant?"