[artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist] unveiled "Not Afraid," the first single from his forthcoming Recovery album, on Thursday morning (April 29), and the track is a strong departure from the usual lead cuts Slim Shady delivers: There are no jabs at pop-culture icons, no jovial goofballing. Mr. Mathers is reflective and remorseful over the Boi-1da-produced track.
"It's been a ride, I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one. Some of you might still be in that place. If you trying to get out, follow me," he says, talking at the beginning of the track.
As the raps starts to kick in, Em threatens to "tear down" those who looked down on him.
"You can try to read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay 'em/ But you won't take the sting out these words before I say
"I'm not afraid/ To take a stand," he continues on the chorus. "Everybody come take my hand/ We'll walk this road together through the storm/ Whatever weather come the war/ Just letting you know that you're not alone/ Holla if you feel been down the same road."
On the second verse, Em admits to some artistic missteps and declares that his last album, Relapse, was a bit of letdown.
"To the fans, I never let you down again, I'm back/ I promise to never go back on that promise," the MC says in the song's second verse. "In fact, let's be honest/ That last Relapse CD was ehh/ Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground/ Relax, I ain't going to do that now."
Later in the verse, Em talks about his personal struggles.
"But I think I'm still trying to figure this crap out/ Thought I had it mapped out, but I guess I didn't/ It's time to exorcise these demons / These muthaf---as are doing jumping jacks now."
As the song comes to a close, Em says he doesn't want any more drama and wants to focus on raising his family.
"I can't just keep living this way," he sings. "So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage / I'm standing up, I'mma face my demons/ I'm manning up, I'mma hold my ground/ I've had enough, I'm so fed up/ Time to put my life back together right now."
Recovery is slated for a June 22 release.
What do you think of Eminem's "Not Afraid"? What do you think of his lyric about Relapse? Let us know in the comments below!