It doesn’t matter if you’re a new kid on the block like Drake or a veteran like Eminem, chances are your new album is bound to leak early at some point. Marshall Mathers is the latest to fall to the leak plague, as his upcoming Recovery hit the Internet on Monday, two weeks before its June 22 official release date, and spread like wildfire.
Fan forums immediately blew up with quick-take reviews on the rapper’s second album in as many years, raving about the many different sounds Slim Shady tries on over the course of the disc. The opening track, “Cold Wind Blows,” finds Em taking aim at some of his favorite targets, viciously daring haters to take him on while dropping references to Elton John, Michael Vick, Aquaman, Michael J. Fox and Mariah Carey before dipping into a sing-songy chorus, “I’m as cold as the cold wind … blows, bla bla bla blows.”
He gets contemplative on the expansive acoustic ballad “Space Bound” and praises his second chances on the gospel stomper “Cinderella Man.” He also weaves his way around a gorgeous Rihanna chorus on the troubled-love ballad “Love the Way You Lie.”
The leak comes less than a week after the online debut of the second song from the album, an unexpected collaboration with Pink called “Won’t Back Down.” The DJ Khalil-produced track finds Em dropping his usual verbal bombs, taking on all comers in his inimitable style.
“Listen, garden tool/ Don’t make me introduce you to my power tool,” Em raps over Khalil’s droning organ chords. “You know the f—ing drill/ How you douche bags feel?/ Knowing you’re disposable, Summer’s Eve, Massengill.”
Eminem spoke about his Recovery collaborations while in France on a promotional tour. Pink, Rihanna and Lil Wayne are all featured, a departure from Em’s previous projects, where the guest lists were usually limited to Shady or Aftermath artists. For “Won’t Back Down,” he explained, Pink was added to the track after it was completed.
“When I did the song that I did with Pink, I laid my parts first and kind of heard her on the record and felt that she would smash this record,” Em said.
Pink does her part with a fiery warning in the chorus: “You can sound the alarm, you can call out your guards/ You can fence in your yard, you can pull all the cards/ But I won’t back down, I won’t back down,” she sings.
The video for “Not Afraid,” the album’s first single that’s been storming the charts, premiered on Sunday. In the dark clip directed by Richard Lee, the rapper stands on the ledge of a roof, slowly edging closer to the edge as he raps about coming out of a perilous time in his life.
He’s able to pull back from the abyss and takes a walk through the streets of Newark ending up in a hall of mirrors where’s he’s forced to confront his reflection.