Upon the release of Eminem’s Beyoncé-assisted single “Walk On Water,” legendary producer Rick Rubin and renowned author Malcolm Gladwell unveil the first episode of their new podcast, “Broken Record,” with Slim Shady as the first guest.
Marshall Mathers opens up to his longtime producer about the song, which was produced by Rubin and Skylar Grey, who also wrote the chorus for Queen Bey to eventually sing. “It’s a very moral song,” says Em. “It’s mortality, not being Superman and what if I can’t come up with the best shit I wrote every single time?”
During the episode, Rubin reveals that Em has become “frustrated” by the new era of “mumble rap.” “They’d just been talking about the rise of mumble rap and there was something about that line, ‘I walk on water, but only when it freezes,’ that touched a nerve,” said Gladwell. “So for him, it’s a little bit of a culture shock because there’s a new wave of hip-hop that’s not really what he’s about,” added Rubin. “He was just talking to me about how that felt. I could see he was frustrated by it.”
Calling himself a “student of hip-hop,” Em praises several of the genre’s greats, including Tupac Shakur, Ice-T, N.W.A, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, JAY-Z, AZ, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Big L, and The Notorious B.I.G.
During the interview, he also opens up about his childhood before he became infatuated with hip-hop. “I was such a nerdy kid,” he says. “Marshall didn’t really know who he was.”
“Walk On Water” is expected to appear on Eminem’s forthcoming album Revival. The rapper is slated to perform the song at the MTV EMA this weekend and then on “SNL” next week.