Eminem References Spider-Man on New Single ‘Tobey’ Featuring Big Sean and Babytron

Fresh off announcing a July 12 release date for his upcoming album “The Death of Slim Shady (Coup De Grâce),” Eminem is showing love for his hometown with his new single “Tobey” featuring fellow Detroiters Big Sean and Babytron.

Fans were perplexed when the track didn’t drop at the assumed midnight hour, but he officially released it 12 hours later. Right down to the single cover art, which riffs off a Spider-Man meme, “Tobey” refers to the comic franchise and one of its film stars. “Tobey Maguire got bit by a spider but see, me? It was a goat,” begins the track.

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Babytron and Big Sean warm up the song for Eminem about halfway through the track, spending his verse establishing his place in the top five firmament in hip-hop. “Ain’t feeling your top five favorite rappers, so I know they ’bout to be pissed at me / But this to me is a mystery / How rappers I’ve already ripped could be higher up on a list than me,” he raps.

The verse is likely inspired by comments that Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 made last year, claiming that the only reason that Eminem is considered top five is because he’s white. Em addressed this on a subsequent feature on Ez Mil’s “Realest,” which dropped in August. Still, he elaborates on “Tobey”: “So when I get dissed by a pioneer who is one of the reasons why I am here / They tell me that I should just let the shit go and slide / Melle Mel shouldn’t get no reply, that man is a legend / Bitch, so am I.”

On Monday afternoon, the rapper revealed that “The Death of Slim Shady” will arrive next week. To help make the announcement, he posted a trailer video on his socials showing a woman giving birth to a devil baby.

Em has been teasing “The Death of Slim Shady” since April, when he appeared at the NFL Draft and simultaneously dropped a trailer revealing that his twelfth studio album would come this summer. The video was shot in the style of “Unsolved Mysteries,” and suggested that this project would mark the final act for his career-long alter ego Slim Shady.

In May, he placed an obituary in the Detroit Free Press bidding adieu to his Slim Shady persona. Then, a few weeks later, he tapped magician David Blaine for a promo video announcing the album’s first single “Houdini,” which released a few days later. The song, a callback to his 2002 hit “Without Me,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became his highest-charting single in a decade.

Little is known about “The Death of Slim Shady,” other than the fact that Dr. Dre likely had a hand in producing the album. Luis Resto, one of Eminem’s longtime producers, manned the boards for “Houdini.”

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