In August, Eminem released “Guts Over Fear,” a triumphant single focused on resiliency in the face of adversity. Now the track – culled from the rapper’s new Shady XV compilation – has a perfect visual counterpart with a recently released video focusing on a boxer’s path from poverty to redemption.
The clip, directed by art collective Syndrome, opens with an athlete preparing for a fight backstage. But the action jumps back six months earlier to show his downtrodden home life as he struggles to pay the bills and provide for his alcoholic father and pregnant wife. As family and work issues continue to mount, the man takes out his frustrations on his opponents, continuing to build his boxing skills.
Eminem’s lyrics mirror the story, as he raps in his classic rapid-fire cadence about escaping from the trailer park into the world’s stadiums. “The crazy part/Was as soon I stopped singing I gave a fuck/Haters started to appreciate my art,” he rhymes over dark piano and a skittering beat. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Sia builds momentum with her soulful chorus hook.
“Guts Over Fear” was previously featured on the soundtrack to the Denzel Washington film The Equalizer. Now the track will be included on Shady XV (out Monday). The two-disc, 28-song compilation celebrates the 15th anniversary of Shady Records, featuring the label’s greatest hits (like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”), new songs from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, D-12 and Yelawolf and collaborative tracks with guest artists.
The rapper also supplemented the release with the free, career-spanning mixtape Shady Classics, a 66-track collection curated by DJ Whoo Kid.