Rapper Eminem refers to Manchester terrorist attack, calls for gun control in Hitchcock-inspired album

Susannah Goldsbrough
Rapper Eminem has released a surprise new album, Music To Be Murdered By - Youtube

Album launches in the modern era are often months in the build-up, preceded by a string of press releases, interviews and social-media buzz.

Not for Eminem. The 47-year old, Detroit-born rapper uploaded his 20-track album, Music To Be Murdered By, to Spotify and other streaming platforms late last night, and quietly announced it via Instagram and Twitter.

Several tracks call for tighter gun control laws in the USA. In Unaccommodating, meanwhile, Eminem compares himself to Salman Ramadan Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.

The album borrows its title from a 1958 record, Alfred Hitchcock Presents Music To Be Murdered By, a gothic instrumental arrangement from film composer Jeff Alexander, which featured the director Hitchcock on its cover and in narrative interludes.

Eminem pays homage to the cover with his own version, posing with an axe and pistol to either side of his head. The 20-track album also features samples from Hitchcock’s original narration. Eminem tweeted that the album was “inspired by the master”.

In the music video for Darkness, also released last night, the rapper plays Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, as he sits in a hotel room preparing his attack. Paddock shot and killed 58 people at the Route 91 Music Festival in 2017, in the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in US history.

The video ends with a call to action. “Register to vote at Vote.gov,” the screen reads. “Make your voice heard and help change the gun laws in America.”

Music To Be Murdered By also features Ed Sheeran, Anderson .Paak, and the late Juice WRLD.