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Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

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Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

Interscope Records

Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

Just a week before his ninth album, Revival, is set to be released, Eminem is finally giving us a preview of his first solo effort in four years. Produced by Rick Rubin, “Walk on Water” features a sparse arrangement of keyboards and strings and a gospel-influenced hook courtesy of Beyoncé. The single is both contemplative and combative, with Em offering a glimpse into his creative process: “The rhyme has to be perfect, the delivery flawless/And it always feels like I'm hittin' the mark/'Til I go sit in the car and pick it apart.” The rapper chronicles his battles with success, drug addition, and inevitable “sales decline,” growing more bellicose as he declares he'll be the one to decide when he takes his final bow. Even at 45, Eminem admits he's still “at times juvenile,” eschewing political correctness with epithets like “retarded” and boasts about his writing credits (“Bitch, I wrote 'Stan'!”).

Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

XL Records

Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

Hillary Clinton’s loss to the most unqualified presidential candidate in modern history proved once and for all that there’s no such thing as a sure bet. So while it might feel safe to assume Adele will emerge victorious at the 59th Grammy Awards, a sweep like the one she enjoyed in 2012 isn’t assured. Tempting as it might be, then, to look at the general field as a contest between Adele and another single-monikered pop titan, if the last year of alternative facts has taught us anything, it’s that up is down, black is white, and that no matter who’s in the White House, Beyoncé runs the world. With that in mind, here are our picks.

Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016

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Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016
Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016

So many of the highlights and lowlights of the year in singles were, for better or worse, attuned to what feels like a worldwide drift toward maintaining one’s own financial and psychological (same diff) bottom line at the expense of anyone else’s. Beyoncé, of all performers, was far from immune, though her particular brand of exceptionalism continues to dress itself up in the finery of collective consciousness raising. Far more common were the unfussy, ruthlessly entertaining likes of Fifth Harmony speaking on behalf of Melania Trumps everywhere. Or Kanye West’s epic clapback against Taylor Swift, which in turn presaged his detour into the mental hospital, which we’ve now seen firsthand more or less counts as the first step in a presidential bid in 2020.

Beyoncé’s “Formation” Music Video Is a Startling, Subversive Statement

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Beyoncé’s “Formation” Music Video Is a Startling, Subversive Statement
Beyoncé’s “Formation” Music Video Is a Startling, Subversive Statement

Beyoncé is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them. “Stop shooting us,” reads graffiti on a wall in the music video for the R&B singer’s new single, “Formation,” intercut with scenes of a boy in a black hoodie facing off against a line of riot police with nothing but his dance moves. But the clip, directed by Melina Matsoukas, is much more than simply an audio-visual manifestation of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Doubling as a tribute to New Orleans, the video opens with a pointed shot of Beyoncé standing atop a New Orleans Police Department car submerged in floodwater, and it dips even further back into our country’s racially charged history to ask, via a fake newspaper titled The Truth, “What is the real legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and why was a revolutionary recast as an acceptable Negro leader?”

Madonna Wrangles Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Chris Rock, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, & More for "Bitch I’m Madonna" Music Video

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Madonna Wrangles Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Chris Rock, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, & More for “Bitch I’m Madonna” Music Video
Madonna Wrangles Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Chris Rock, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, & More for “Bitch I’m Madonna” Music Video

After two singles highlighting the cardiovascular half of Madonna’s Rebel Heart project, the singer is unleashing her so-called rebellious side for the album’s third single, “Bitch I’m Madonna.” The first glimpse of the star-studded new music video for the track, inspired by a high-octane performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, came courtesy of the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, who posted a behind-the-scenes clip from the shoot last month on Instagram. Coyne wasn’t the only celeb on set though—but he’s certainly the weirdest. Despite the song’s title, the clip, which premiered exclusively on Tidal this morning, makes room for a litany of guests, including Chris Rock, Rita Ora, Diplo (who produced the track), fashion designer Alexander Wang, and the Queen of Pop’s two sons, Rocco and David. Other cameos—like a pose-striking Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Miley Cyrus—were beamed in via green-screen, giving the video a slapdash quality that’s rare for the music video pioneer. The apparent moral of the story? We are all Madonna. So grab your grillz and start humping the nearest wall.

Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions: Album of the Year

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Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions: Album of the Year
Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions: Album of the Year

This is a race more of less between two albums: One great and daring, one mediocre and safe. So if the conversation here was related to an institution with any standard for greatness, this might not be such a tough call, but since this is the Grammys, bastion for all that is “pretty okay,” it’s harder to say who will receive the honor. Beyoncé’s surprise-released set seemingly isn’t all that different a candidate from Frank Ocean’s sinewy nü-R&B effort Channel Orange, which lost in this category a few years ago. But not inconsequentially, Beyoncé did basically reinvent both the roll-out strategy for a pop album and expand its borders into a full-blown multimedia experience, its iTunes drop packaged with a music video for each of its songs. Then again, increased real estate in the pop-culture discourse has its drawbacks, with right-wing talking heads like Mike Huckabee spouting off about her music being “mental poison” because she has the audacity to extend her narrative focus to strippers and backseat boofing.

Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions
Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions

All this week we’re predicting the winners in the so-called Big Four categories at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, airing this Sunday night on CBS. We kick things off with our picks in some of the smaller genre categories:

Best Rock Album: NARAS loves to reward long-overdue veterans, particularly in categories like Best Rock Album, where past winners include the Rolling Stones (who took home the inaugural trophy back in 1995), U2 (who’ve won twice, and are nominated again this year), and Led Zeppelin (whose live album Celebration Day triumphed over Black Sabbath, David Bowie, and Neil Young last year). It might seem foolish to bet against U2, but the Irish icons only have a 50% success rate in this category, and Songs of Innocence was notable mostly for its controversial rollout—which, unlike Beyoncé, was met with a cool reception. The Black Keys won here two years ago, and while the academy is fond of repeat winners (just ask Foo Fighters, who possess a whopping 20 percent of all of the metal handed out in this category), it will be hard to resist rewarding Beck’s Morning Phase, the Album of the Year-nominated sequel to his beloved 2002 album Sea Change. And yes, he’s a “veteran.” Feel old? Sal Cinquemani