Guess who’s back? Eminem resurrects Slim Shady on new single ‘Houdini’

And for his next trick... Eminem has revived his impish alter-ego Slim Shady for new track “Houdini”, the much-teased lead single from his forthcoming album, believed to be titled The Death of Slim Shady (Coup De Grâce).

The song, which harks back to the US rapper’s 2002 hit “Without Me”, is also accompanied by a music video featuring cameos from Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Pete Davidson, 50 Cent and comedian Shane Gillis.

It opens with a skit from Eminem’s longtime manager Paul Rosenberg, who calls up the rapper to tell him: “Hey Em, it’s Paul, uh, I was listening to the album... good f***ing luck, you’re on your own,” before hanging up the phone.

“Houdini” uses the same bouncing hook from “Without Me” and similarly sees him taking aim at critics, his own family, and himself: “Still a white jerk (It’s him!), pullin’ up in a Chrysler to the cypher.”

Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, also namechecks fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion with wordplay that references her 2020 shooting by Tory Lanez: “If I was to ask for Megan Thee (What?)/ Stallion if she would collab with me/ Would I really have a shot at a feat? (Haha).”

Later, he references the notorious faked 2016 kidnapping by Sherri Papini as he also compares himself to Hungarian-American escape artist Harry Houdini: “'Cause you're never gon' see me/ Caught sleepin' and see the kidnappin' never did happen/ Like Sherri Papini, Harry Houdini/ I vanish into the thin air as I'm leavin' like...”

Eminem in his music video for ‘Houdini' (YouTube/screengrab)
Eminem in his music video for ‘Houdini' (YouTube/screengrab)

While Eminem has promised the album for summer, fans might notice that he turns 52 in October, close to the date that Houdini himself died, also aged 52. Whether this means he has something planned for that date, to tie in with him killing off Slim Shady, remains to be seen.

Before releasing “Houdini”, Eminem shared a teaser with David Blaine, in which the magician and illusionist eats a wine glass while he declares: “Well, for my last track, I’m gonna make my career disappear.”

The video, directed by Rich Lee, finds him back in his Rapboy costume from the “Without Me” video and hurtling around a comic strip universe with his younger self. He also brings back the wannabe Slim Shadys who featured in his 2000 MTV Video Music Awards performance.

Pete Davidson (right) with Eminem in the rapper’s music video for ‘Houdini' (YouTube)
Pete Davidson (right) with Eminem in the rapper’s music video for ‘Houdini' (YouTube)

At the end of the clip, comedian Pete Davidson takes over driving his Lamborghini (”trust me, I’m a great driver”) and sends them careening through the streets at night.

The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce), is due for release this summer and will follow Eminem’s last record, 2020’s Music to Be Murdered By.