Eminem and Cee Lo Green are dropping their regal contribution to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis soundtrack on Thursday (June 16). Slim Shady announced that that original song, “The King & I,” will hit all services tomorrow at noon ET. A widely circulated early listen of the track from the red carpet premiere of the anticipated biopic at the Cannes film festival promises a patented mix of hard-hitting Em verses and a soulful hook from Green.
“I rolled up like the bottom of a tooth paste tube/ Blue suede shoes, one missin’ a shoe lace too
Two chains, you can call me 2 Chainz/ Ropes hang like Hussein’s noose/ Yeah, they let the fruitcake loose/ It goes one for the trailer park, two for my baby-ma’s/ Three for the tater tots, four if you ate a lot,” Eminem raps over a booming beat as he brags about bro-ing down with Elvis Presley “like cellmates.”
Other lyrics bounce from Em describing his own rise to pop stardom — with stops at bottles of blonde hair dye and prescription pills — to his lower points (“still boxing with all my demons”) and a bald-faced admission about the cultural appropriation Presley was accused of during his day as well (“I stole black music, yeah true/ Perhaps used it as a tool to combat school.”) The final verse more explicitly breaks down the parallels between the two men: “Between Elvis and me, myself/ It seems obvious: one, he’s pale as me/ Second, we both been hailed as kings/ He used to rock the Jailhouse, and I used to rock The Shelter,” Eminem raps.
Cee Lo comes in with the DGAF chorus, singing, “See, I don’t give a s–t about a thing you say/ I just wanna feel like a king again/ And if you don’t like it you can sit and spin/ Middle fingers up, we ’bout to do this s–t again.” In a recent interview with KTLA morning news, Green described how Em made him hustle to lay down his vocals.
“Me and Eminem have been friends for years, I’ve longed for an opportunity to work with him,” Green said. “He said ‘hey man can you do this for me? I need it really quickly, I need it tonight.’ So when Eminem says he needs something tonight, you deliver.”
The soundtrack will also feature contributions from Stevie Nicks, Kacey Musgraves, Maneskin, Jack White, Tame Impala, Jazmine Sullivan, Gary Clark Jr. and Doja Cat, whose dynamic “Vegas” was previously released as the soundtrack’s first single. The song interpolates Big Mama Thornton’s 1952 foundational rock and roll song “Hound Dog,” which was later famously recorded Presley.
The Luhrmann-directed biopic stars Austin Butler as The King, and will officially hit theaters on June 24. The film’s release date was pushed back a number of times due to COVID-19, including after Tom Hanks, who plays Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, contracted the virus in Australia, where he was filming the biopic.
See Eminem’s announcement below.
#thekingandi 👑 ft. @ceelogreen drops Thursday Noon ET @ElvisMovie⚡️#TCB pic.twitter.com/vuweBZ3bU9
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) June 14, 2022