Eminem surprise-released his 11th album on midnight Thursday, ending weeks of rumors and speculation on when the rapper would unveil the follow-up to 2018’s Kamikaze.
The 20-song album features guest appearances by Ed Sheeran, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Royce Da 5’9″, Anderson .Paak, Young M.A., and a posthumous appearance by Juice WRLD. The album also finds the rapper enlisting three-quarters of the Em-affiliated supergroup Slaughterhouse for “I Will,” featuring Royce, Joell Ortiz, and Kxng Crooked.
To accompany the album’s release, the rapper unveiled the anti-gun-violence video for “Darkness,” in which a sparse piano ballad and minimalist drums anchor the quiet track. What starts off as a song about loneliness and the crushing weight of solitude builds to a tale of a man murdering people with guns as his outlet. The clip channels the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman opened fire from his hotel room and killed 58 people before killing himself.
The clip ends with a montage of various actual other mass shootings in America, with the message, “When will this end? When enough people care. Register to vote at Vote.gov. Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America.” The video also links to the rapper’s new website with information and links to various anti-gun-violence organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.
Eminem announced the album on Twitter by sharing its cover art and writing, “It’s your funeral …” The rapper also wrote that the album was inspired by filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, which is reflected in the LP title and photo used in the album art he tweeted. The interlude “Alfred” features a clip from Hitchcock introducing his sole album release, 1958’s Music to Be Murdered By.