Eminem delivered an unexpected musical performance during his latest appearance on Saturday Night Live. The rapper, who marked his seventh appearance on the NBC late-night show, was expected to perform his recently dropped single, “Walk on Water.” But what fans didn’t expect was a nine-minute medley that encompassed the rap legend’s entire career.
Eminem fans have been waiting for an announcement on the release of his upcoming album, Revival. Many fans assumed he would perform “Walk on Water” and at least one more new surprise song from the album on Saturday Night Live. Others hoped for a Beyonce cameo since Queen Bey is featured on the “Walk on Water” single. Instead, Em teamed up with singer Skylar Grey to start off his SNL set with his new single and then transitioned into renditions of his older songs “Stan” and “Love The Way You Lie.”
According to Variety, Saturday Night Live audio engineers were prepared to bleep out offensive words from Eminem’s performance, but surprisingly, they did not censor the word “retarded” as Eminem rapped the line, “Kids look to me as a god, this is retarded/If only they knew, it’s a facade and it’s exhaustive.”
Eminem’s lyrics also paid tribute to his late childhood friend, former D12 member Proof, as he looked back on his own career and noted that “it’s time to wash out the blond.”
As Eminem segued into his 1999 hit “Stan,” which originally featured British singer Dido, Skylar Grey stepped out to sing the chorus before moving on to part of “Love The Way You Lie,” which the rapper originally recorded with Rihanna. Skyler Grey co-wrote the 2010 hit and she has collaborated on several other songs with Eminem in the past.
Reaction to Eminem’s Saturday Night Live musical mix was definitely mixed, with some former fans telling the 45-year-old rapper it’s time for him to hang it up. Others dissed Eminem’s dark hair and beard and noted that he looks “old.” One fan even blamed Donald Trump for “ruining” Eminem.
But others fans praised Eminem for going old school, saying the rap icon never fails to kill it onstage. You can see the reaction to Eminem’s supersized Saturday Night Live performance below.
Eminem doing a time machine performance and it ain’t helping the fact that he’s washed up and old— Wumbo King (@terriblelucas) November 19, 2017
Hey in case you wonder when the "R" word is okay to use. The answer is never. Tonight I'm looking at you Eminem. #SNL— Serialadopter (@serialadopter) November 19, 2017
Eminem’s doing a greatest hits medley on SNL. Does it feel to anyone else that he might retire during the end credits?— MetsOfficials (@MetsOfficials) November 19, 2017
Was Eminem serious with that Walk on Water trash on SNL? Ooof.— Jim Murray (@bigjimmurray) November 19, 2017
When’s the last time you remember an artist busting out old hits on #SNL?— Corbin Reiff (@CorbinReiff) November 19, 2017
Eminem coming in hot with this medley.
Eminem’s last studio album was The Marshall Mathers LP 2 back in 2013. The album featured the hit duet with Rihanna, “The Monster.” There is still no word on the release date for Revival.
Take a look at Eminem’s full Saturday Night Live performance with Skylar Grey below.
[Featured Image by Will Heath/NBC]