Eminem's rumbling "Won't Back Down" is among the most defiant records on Recovery, and the addition of Pink only upped the attitude on the standout track. And it was all the Detroit MC's idea to tap the outspoken pop singer to add vocals on the number, according to the track's producer, DJ Khalil.
"That was Em's idea," Khalil told MTV News of the collaboration.
The Aftermath producer revealed that a different artist was initially featured on the song, but Pink owned the collabo with her punked-out rendition.
"He called me, and originally we had another vocalist, Liz Rodrigues, who is in my group," Khalil explained. "I have a group called the New Royales and they're based in Canada; Liz is from Toronto. Originally she was on the song, but she was already on "25 to Life" and "Almost Famous." So, we were thinking, 'Who else could we get for this record that would actually fit?'
"When he brought up Pink, I thought she would kill it, she'd murder it. He set up the session in Malibu and we did the session and she was done in like 20 minutes. She nailed it in her way. I was kind of married to the original, but once I heard what she did and she put her stamp on it, it was like perfect, 'cause she just brought the attitude out."
The organ-heavy production featured Eminem shooting off a rapid-fire stream of punch lines.
"Listen, garden tool/ Don't make me introduce you to my power tool," Em spits. "You know the f---ing drill/ How you douche bags feel?/ Knowing you're disposable, Summer's Eve, Massengill."
Khalil said his intricate production style is what led Eminem to recruit him to work on Recovery. The Shady lyricist had to adapt to rapping over his particular style.
"They were into my production, and it's different than everybody else's, because it's dense," Khalil explained. "There's a lot of music going on. Even with 'Won't Back Down,' [Eminem] told me the track was beating him down. He had to scream to be able to rap over that track. They just wanted what I do."
What do you think of Em and Pink's "Won't Back Down"? Share your thoughts in the comments!
It's Eminem Week at MTV News, so stick with us as we celebrate the release of Recovery and take you inside the making of Em's latest album.