The onset of summer can only mean one thing: bizarre, cross-genre musical collaborations aimed at becoming mercury-busting hot weather anthems. In this edition of “WTF, WHO teamed up?” we’ve got “Lighters,” the new track by Eminem and rapper Royce da 5’9″ (collectively known as Bad Meets Evil) featuring crooner Bruno Mars.
The track, taken from Bad Meets Evil’s upcoming Hell: The Sequel EP (out 6/14), veers from the group’s late-’90s string of dark, misanthropic singles. But with Bruno Mars on the hook, you knew that already. Mars’ soaring, stadium-ready intro — “This one’s for you and me/Living out our dreams” — could’ve been on the singer’s own album, until Em’s vocal crescendos build up to fist-pumping levels before leveling off in a message to haters. (The effect is not unlike a harder version of Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar,” featuring Matthew Santos.) Royce holds his own, hitting upon a wide range of topics ranging from his admiration of Eminem to his father’s back pain to remembering when “T-Pain ain’t wanna work with me.” My, how times have changed.
+ Listen to Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars.