“Difficult,” Eminem’s tribute to his fallen friend and D12 member Proof, leaked online in December.
The track has now been rechristened “Dudey” and features former Shady Records artist Obie Trice on the chorus.
The revamped track arrived online on Friday (February 11) and still features Em’s somber rhymes. A hook has been added, however, on which Trice helps Eminem eulogize the Detroit rapper, born DeShaun Holton, who was murdered in 2006
Trice’s words add grace to Em’s sobering rhymes.
“I drop a tear in the rhyme, the day you find it is the day I stop missing DeShaun,” Obie chimes in on the chorus. “Holton, it was written, it was woven for a soldier to leave so suddenly, got me wide open/ I could die, take my soul, so dope and, turn around, leave us all heartbroken/ Know that you said keep going, be a man, no emotion, it’s your duty, till we meet again, my Dudey.”
“Dudey, that’s what we called each other,” Em rhymes. “I don’t know where it came from, but it just stuck with us, we was always brothers/ Never thought about each other’s skin colors.”
Eminem has spoken in the past about his trouble dealing with Proof’s death, which was one of the factors that triggered his descent into drug dependency. But the rapper has also said he struggled to pen a rhyme to pay homage to his friend.
On 2009’s Relapse, Eminem only acknowledged Proof in the liner notes.
But a year later, with Recovery, he was able to compose a proper song for his friend, the moving “You’re Never Over.”
“It’s a dedication to Proof,” Em said of the song. “It is one of those records that I tried … I had several attempts at making. Every attempt just wasn’t good enough. It was one of those things, I tried a bunch of records and it just didn’t work. Like, ’This is not good enough, the rhyme’s not crazy enough, the beat’s not crazy enough.’
When I finally got it, I felt like, ’Thank you, thank you, God for just giving me the strength to be able to write this record and make it feel like it does.’ “