On [artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist]'s upcoming album Relapse, the rapper touches on his past addictions on several tracks, but a number of songs also feature twisted narratives like that on "3 A.M."
Datwon Thomas, editor in chief of XXL, interviewed Eminem
for the June issue of the magazine and said Relapse reflects a number of influences: Particularly, Thomas cited the crime shows and documentaries the Detroit native watched on TV regularly. Thomas said Em told him he would drop what he was doing to check out documentaries on serial killers.
"All his influences from the past four years while he's been down, I think, are all jumbled into the album," Thomas told MTV News. "Like, all the TV shows he watches, 'The First 48' and 'CSI' type of shows. Those are the shows he watches, a lot of serial-killer type of documentaries. That was all incorporated in this album. And if you think about it, it's very conceptual. It's a concept album based on his issue with drugs, but then this dark sinister individual."
Songs like "Same Song & Dance" and "Stay Wide Awake" find the rapper delivering horror-core-like tales of murder and mayhem.
The music influenced XXL for the photo shoot with the rapper. According to Thomas, the dark album inspired them to go with a comic book theme for Eminem. The result was the rapper donning a Punisher get-up and logo on his chest for the magazine cover.
"That's why with XXL, we went with that theme," Thomas said. "We had the Marvel angle, but he picked the Punisher out of the Marvel family."