Apparently Bad Meets Evil’s Hell: The Sequel isn’t all bad and evil. On Thursday night, “Lighters” — a new song off of the upcoming collaborative EP by Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ — leaked onto the Internet, and it’s a far cry from the project’s first release “Fast Lane.” While the latter tune had a darker feel and included references to pacts with the devil and decapitation, “Lighters” seems almost primed for regular radio rotation. The track was produced by Eminem, the Smeezingtons and Battle Roy, and features Bruno Mars on the hook.
Opening with sentimental piano chords and Bruno singing, “This one’s for you and me living out our dreams,” the song is as inspirational as it is catchy. Mars closes his introductory refrain, crooning, “All I want to see is a sky full of lighters,” before giving way to a boastful and aggressive verse by Slim Shady.
The bass drops, synth chords come in and Em begins to do his thing, rapping, “By the time you hear this, I would have already spiraled up/ I would never do nothin’ to let you cowards f— my world up/ If I was you I would duck, or get struck/ Like lightening; fighters, keep fighting, put your lighters up, point ’em skyward up.”
It’s hard to imagine a time when Eminem wasn’t regarded as one of rap’s elite, but his past drug abuse did take its toll before he reemerged triumphant on last year’s Grammy Award-winning album Recovery. On “Lighters,” Em taps into the same feelings that he did on his comeback, lets loose and once again proves his rap dominance as he closes his verse, spitting, “I came with 5’9″ but I feel like I’m 6’8″.”
Fans are used to hearing Shady on big-sounding singles, such as “Not Afraid” and the Rihanna-assisted “Love the Way You Lie,” and so it is Royce who truly surprises here. The gritty Detroit MC recalls his own battles to the top, referencing doubters at every turn. What’s key, however, is that while doing so, Royce doesn’t sacrifice the underground-type lyricism for which he is known. On “Lighters,” he apparently allows a dis by T-Pain to fuel his fire, as exemplified by this lyric: “Y’all are doomed, I remember when T-Pain ain’t wanna work with me/ My car starts itself, parks itself and auto-tunes/ ’Cause now I’m in the Aston.”
In May, Em and Royce appeared on “RapFix Live” with Sway to talk about Hell: The Sequel and the chemistry the two shared. “Me and Bad [Royce], ever since back in the day when we did records together, we always had kind of a chemistry,” Eminem told MTV News. “It was fairly easy to play off what each other was doing, and I think that we think a lot alike.”
For now, there is no telling when or if “Lighters” will hit radio: The unauthorized leak didn’t seem to be part of the Bad Meets Evil roll-out plan, judging by a Twitter message Royce fired off on Thursday that read, “Lighters Leaked… O well.. Lol.” Hell: The Sequel is due in stores on June 14.
What do you think of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″’s leaked Bad Meets Evil song “Lighters”? Tell us in the comments!