Eminem has just dropped a new music video for the song “River” featuring Ed Sheeran, off his latest studio album Revival. The album in itself seemed a long-awaited catharsis for Marshall Mathers, who hadn’t released an album since Recovery in 2010.
Throughout Eminem’s expansive career, he’s always had a reputation for making intensely cinematic and emotional videos that created a realistic insight into how much he is battling outside of the music business.
This includes videos like “Mockingbird”, “When I’m Gone”, and “Stan” to name a few. It’s work, such as this, that created Eminem’s lasting fan base—a global, diverse and multi-racial plethora of people who relate to Eminem’s personal turmoil and support him by supporting his music.
The “River” music video is a documentary-style experience that comments on a love-triangle, between Eminem, the woman he was involved with, and her ex-husband. The clip includes interview cuts where the protagonists of the video speak about personal experiences.
The video was directed by epic British music video director Emil Nava, who is known for pieces like “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris Ft. Rihanna and several other music videos by Sheeran—as this was certainly not their first collaboration.
“River” starts with a scene of Eminem sitting in a chair, in an empty room, as the interviewer asks, “what does love mean to you?” to which he responds, “my personal life is not exactly a highlight real,” while Sheeran adds, “if you’re not gonna have the trust element [in love], you’re fucked.”
The video is a compilation of iPhone clips and high-quality cinematography. At one point, the video flashes to a scene where Eminem’s woman tells him that she’s pregnant with his child. He quickly makes it clear that he has no intention to have the child, and wants her to terminate the pregnancy.
“This love triangle left us in a rectangle, didn’t really wanna abort/ but fuck it/ what’s one more lie/ to tell our unborn child?” he raps.
It’s unclear why Marshall couldn’t or didn’t want to have a child at that time. The hook of the song, which includes the lyrics “my sins need holy water” are just a few of the lyrics in this song that express Eminem’s frustration with himself at the way he continually mishandles life’s tribulations.
Eminem tells the interviewer at the end of the video that this song is something he needed to get off his chest, which is no surprise considering how much it seems he has been handling in the past several years. Countless fans will continue to stand by Eminem through it all and hopefully are learning from some of Em’s mistakes or at least finding some solace for their own.
WATCH: EMINEM FEAT. ED SHEERAN – “RIVER”