So Christmas dropped early this year. And I did not expect this little present.
Audio for Survival.
So what's better than machine gun rifles and explosions all over the screen? Survival by Eminem. Obviously Call of Duty: Ghosts is unmatched at the gaming center while people from all walks of life got a shot at the multiplayer game trailer and also the teaser for probably his upcoming, one of the most anticipated albums of 2013. And that goes without saying that Survival is going to eventually end up on the record, but what's even more impressive is how the song didn't get leaked. At all. Roar and Applause, two of the most waited singles by each fans, were supposed to be released pretty much a week from now. Due to hackers, they had no choice and the track eventually went up to iTunes. So Survival, is it do or die; good or bad?
I have to say, since it's a long time since we last heard from the real Slim Shady, it's obviously going to be hyped up that a new song is going to be revealed. And what a fashion show Eminem brings to the table, offering through the PRs and how the song went through to the CoD game after all. That goes without saying that Won't Back Down featuring P!nk, which was from his previous individual record, Recovery, released back in 2010, was also used in the Call of Duty game back then. Marketing? Maybe. But it's a good damn way to flaunt off your excessive rapping skills, especially when it's Eminem - your hard-hitting lyrical genius. And in Survival, he does it again.
So Survival starts off with a relatively unheard vocalist, Lis Rodrigues, who does the intro. If that doesn't sprinkle you with chills down your spine, you might not have heard enough. And bam, the chorus goes sprawling out of control, before Eminem matches the tone with the beats - the rock solid foundation and the wacky guitar riffs that accompany - he kills it instantaneously. Pushing boundaries once more with his lyrical concept, he shoots it with 'Wasn't ready to be no millionaire; I was ill-prepared; I was prepared to be ill, though, the skill was there!' and once again, Em's angry visage was increased on various occasions, his anger splitting and his fury still forming. I'm not going to doubt the lyrics on here, but people are going to be picky and rant about Eminem's lyrical content still based on getting respect, but if that is what Eminem's looking for, he's got it for almost a decade now. Do newer kids on the block know the trademark? Nope. Survival wipes the floor clean for pretty much one of the best rap tracks I've heard in weeks (credits to Jay-Z for Magna Carter... Holy Grail - not the best, but there were tracks that really did the heavy-lifting.).
But I want you to doubt me
ORIGINALITY: 9/10 - This is epic rock-rap interpolation and Eminem basically shoves a handgun up the track with pure grit and f-bombs.
SOUND: 9/10 - The sound is just big, epic and huge. The background gang vocals, the percussions and the drum beats. Producer DJ Khalil (who also produced Not Afraid) might have gotten his cards right.
LYRICS: 9/10 - What can I say? It's Eminem. What do you think? The lyrical expertise is still drawing circles in my head, but as far as it goes, he still hasn't lost touch and in fact, might be improving. The rhyme schemes and the words used in this track are just superb.
OVERALL: 27/30 - Survival is just hardcore, rock and rap 'in your face' with a disturbing jaunt. If you don't like the song, it's most probably you're just here for the game trailer. Still, Eminem delivers solidly and I have to say I'll play it for days. There was nothing stopping me from giving it a grade-A rating, was there? Eminem's 8th album, here we come!
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.