Eminem dazzled critics with a nine-minute mix of old hits and new material during an unplugged performance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend.
While specialised music outlets like Billboard, National Public Radio and Rolling Stone praised Eminem’s performance, salty conservatives all over social media tried to throw their best punches at the rapper in retaliation to the very public freestyle he did back at the BET awards last October, when he mercilessly attacked Trump and his policies.
#Eminem is terrible…damn does the dude have any sense timing/rhythm? Well at least he got the grey dyed out of his beard… that's something I guess
— Scott R.??? (@therealscooter6) November 19, 2017
— Michael Myers (@theshape_myers) November 19, 2017
Usually, musical guests perform in two separate segments on the show, but just as Prince did a few years ago, Marshall Mathers aka Eminem decided to join the two slots together and do one long presentation to close the broadcast.
Eminem went for an all-acoustic show – no samples, only instruments – playing a nine-minute medley that started with his new song, “Walk on Water”, and gently morphed into two of his biggest hits, the 2000 single “Stan” and his duet with Rihanna from 2010 “Love the Way You Lie”.
Longtime collaborator Skylar Grey offered guest vocals and piano, chewing up the stage every time she was on.
The whole presentation had an imperfect, introspective vibe, showing a vulnerability rarely seen in Eminem throughout his two decade career. His new song is a self-referential tune about the pressure for success and his time away from the spotlight.
The lauded rapper will release a new album in coming months titled Revival and his first single “Walk on Water” just debuted live during the European Music Awards.
This particular edition of SNL was hosted by hip-hop superstar Chance the Rapper who surprised everyone with some serious acting skills. He revealed a serious knack for comic timing in three hilarious skits, including a hysterical mockumentary about the history of hip-hop where Chance portrayed an MC from the Bronx in a group called the “Soul Crush Crew”.
He also did a sketch in which he played a smooth soul crooner performing the ballad, “Come Back, Barack”.