Eminem releases surprise album advocating for gun control
1 track spurs outrage for 'distasteful' mention of Manchester Arena bomb attack
Rapper Eminem has once again dropped a surprise album, releasing Music to Be Murdered By on Friday.
The follow-up to 2018's Kamikaze — also released without warning — was announced on Twitter just after midnight.
The Detroit rapper also released a new music video for Darkness, one of the 20 tracks on the album, that depicts a shooting at a concert.
The lyrics and storyline of the video specifically allude to the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that left 58 people dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The video closes with audio and video footage of news broadcasts from other recent mass shooting around the U.S. as well as an appeal for viewers to register to vote and "help change gun laws in America."
Warning: The following video contains graphic scenes of violence and strong language
"When will this end? When enough people care," reads the text.
A link to the music video on Eminem's website encourages viewers to contact or visit several gun violence prevention organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.
The album's cover art features blood spatter and a bearded Eminem clad in a suit and fedora and holding a shovel.
An alternate cover features the same splatter as well as a hatless Eminem holding both a hatchet and a gun to his head in an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 album of the same name.
"Inspired by the master, Uncle Alfred!" Eminem posted via Twitter.
Outrage over bomb-attack lyric
Another track from the album, Unaccommodating, has sparked outrage for also touching on a recent tragedy. In a line from the song, the rapper references the 2017 Manchester Arena bomb attack, which killed 22 people outside a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
eminem stans are really trying to defend his joke about a terrorist attack that killed 22 people and gave ariana PTSD...literally bye—@fckinggrateful
If y’all are hyping up eminem after his line “i’m contemplating yelling bombs away on the game like i’m outside an ariana grande concert” please unfollow me that’s disgusting—@remsflatline
Some listeners labelled the line "sick" or "disgusting."
Figen Murray, whose 29-year-old son Martyn Hett died in the attack, took to Twitter to describe the lyric as "totally pointless" and "distasteful."
Ok, I just watched the 11 min clip. Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana grande and Justin bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities. Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage. <a href="https://t.co/fE9MbepeqN">https://t.co/fE9MbepeqN</a>—@FigenMurray
Music to Be Murdered By is Eminem's 11th studio album, according to his website.
The album includes work from many collaborators, including Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Anderson .Paak and Juice WRLD, the 21-year-old rapper who died in December.