Eminem surprise-releases new album, 'Music to Be Murdered By'

The set, which follows 2018's "Kamikaze," is now streaming on all major services

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Eminem has an early weekend present for his fans: a surprise new album. 

Em unwrapped his 11th studio effort, "Music to Be Murdered By," late Thursday night with a short note attached: "It's your funeral," he tweeted, along with a link to stream the new set. 

Eminem surprise-released his new album, "Music to Be Murdered By," at midnight on Friday.

The album cover and title is a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album, “Music to Be Murdered By.”

“Inspired by the master, Uncle Alfred!” Eminem tweeted following the album’s release. Hitchcock is sampled throughout the album, including on the tracks "Alfred – Interlude" and "Alfred – Outro."  

Accompanying the 20-track album — which includes guest spots from Ed Sheeran, Royce da 5'9", Anderson .Paak, Q-Tip, the Roots' Black Thought and the late Juice WRLD — is a video for the downtempo "Darkness," which interpolates Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence."

The video references the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, and ends with a plea to change gun laws in America. (Warning: Explicit lyrics and disturbing content.) 

The video also directs viewers to a site with links to organizations dedicated to changing gun laws and ending gun violence. Visit the site here

Em doesn't shy away from controversial topics on the album; on "Unaccomodating" he references the 2017 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, JonBenet Ramsey, John Wayne Gacy and 9/11, all within a matter of a few lines. He also addresses his beef with rapper MGK, rapping, "when they ask me is the war finished with MGK? Of course it is/ I cleansed him of his mortal sins, I'm God."   

Physical copies of the new album are on sale through Eminem's website, including CDs ($18), cassette tapes ($17) and blood-splattered red vinyl ($35). 

Within two hours of the album's release, it had entered the top three on the U.S. iTunes charts, according to @chartdata on Twitter

"Music to Be Murdered By" follows Em's last set, "Kamikaze," which was similarly surprise-released, without advance notice, in Aug. 2018. 

Recent weeks had seen Eminem embroiled in a war of words with Nick Cannon. The long-running feud, which goes back a decade, was reignited when Em mentioned Cannon, along with Cannon's ex-wife Mariah Carey, on "Lord Above," a track on Fat Joe's latest album. 

Cannon retaliated with a pair of diss tracks, one of which featured a cameo from incarcerated former Death Row Records head honcho Suge Knight. Em responded via Twitter, but never in song.

There were minor rumblings of the new album's forthcoming arrival online last month before the holiday, when producer Fredwreck and Em's frequent collaborator, Skylar Grey, peppered their Instagram stories with references to Em.