Eminem is in classic Slim Shady video mode in the wild and wacky visual for “Gnat” from Marshall’s second surprise album of 2020, Music To Be Murdered By – Side B.
The companion album to his January release dropped at midnight on Thursday (Dec. 17), and Em is dead serious about pandemic in the Cole Bennett-directed visual, which nods to some of the rapper’s most iconic, morbidly fun-filled visuals of yore.
Sporting a dark beard and matching hair, Em rips out of the gate with some topical bars that set the scene for this most terrible of years. “They say these bars are like COVID (Bars are like COVID)/ You get ’em right off the bat (You get ’em right off the bat),” he raps in the first verse.
Meanwhile, Eminem alternates between walking around a clean room in a yellow hazmat battling bats, and sitting at a table in his hospital gown with welts all over his face, as he watches an update of his legendary “The Real Slim Shady” video.
“Infected with SARS and Corona (Infected with SARS and Corona)/ Like you took a bite off of that (Damn)/ And it goes from martian to human (Yeah)/ That’s how the virus attacks (That’s how the virus attacks)/ They come at me with machine guns/ Like trying to fight off a gnat,” he spits (literally, at certain junctures).
Wiping down every surface with Lysol, making joking references to President Trump and a very clever non-dig at veep Mike Pence (“Mic, pencil get killed/ If you’re hypersensitive/ I wasn’t referencing the vice president, chill”), Em goes down a rabbit hole with all the cleaning. Along the way, he drops nods to Marilyn Monroe, stay-at-home orders, social distancing, hydroxychloroquine and, for old time’s sake, a jab at his mom feeding him “Valium like air.”
With rhymes so ill they call for a face mask, Em gets so paranoid about catching the COVID he actually hops into the washing machine at one point to get clean, just before a cuckolded husband shoots him in the chest for stealing his wife. Oh, and Shady bites the head off a bat, so let that image simmer for a minute.
The 36 song, nearly two hour album features cameos from Dr. Dre, Ty Dolla $ign, Skylar Grey and DJ Premier, among others.
Check out “Gnat” below.