A new release that pleasantly surprised the legions of Eminem fans is the rapper’s new single “The King and I”. The track just hit the charts as a contribution to Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic, Elvis.
Co-produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre, the single features CeeLo Green on the track’s chorus, both musicians performing over a sample of Elvis’ 1957 classic, “Jailhouse Rock.” “The King and I” is the first single by the rapper in over a year, with his last track being “Killer” featuring Jack Harlow and Cordae.
While Eminem’s recent releases seem to have drawn somewhat lukewarm receptions, it isn’t easy releasing big-name rap at the age of 49. That’s what several fans noted as the track picked up attention across the last 24 hours and is described as one of Em’s ‘best in a while’:
Some also noted Eminem’s previous references to the King of Rock & Roll, most notably in the last verse of his 2009 hit, “We Made You,” and perhaps most infamously when he parodied the musician’s death in 2002’s “Without Me”:
Elvis life came to an end rather unceremoniously, at the age of 42. He suffered from several ailments for years, including glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, and was found dead on his bathroom floor.
In “Without Me,” Eminem he also compares himself to Elvis, notably the shared success of two white musicians in a largely black-dominated genre: “But it’s just me, I’m just obscene.Though I’m not the first king of controversy, I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley. To do Black music so selfishly. And use it to get myself wealthy. There’s a concept that works. Twenty million other white rappers emerge.
“But no matter how many fish in the sea, It’d be so empty without me.”
The film Elvis itself has been quite successful so far, receiving a 12-minute standing ovation at Cannes this year. Starring Austin Butler as the iconic King of Rock & Roll, Elvis shares the story of the star’s rise to fame and his complex relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by none other than Tom Hanks.
Elvis is set to release in cinemas on June 24th.
(Featured Image Credits: Spotify, Shroom Shady Music & Universal Music Group)