Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. But before too much love could fill up the air, Eminem emerged and in his typical style, turned the day of love upside down on its head with his promised video for his Ed Sheeran collaboration “River”. The music video comes two months after Eminem’s most recent studio album ‘Revival', which was released in December 2017.
The confessional, documentary-style music video begins with Em sitting in a bare room pondering the question, "What does love mean to you?” Eminem starts with the line “My personal life is not exactly a highlight reel,” as he hopelessly stares into the camera. The murky video progresses on, as the lyrics go on to describe Shady hooking up with a woman behind her boyfriend's back, and falling in love. Meanwhile, there are gritty cuts to scenes that show everything that one shouldn’t do during courtship. There’s chair throwing, screaming, name-calling, some off-handed abuse - all lovely stuff for Valentine’s Day release!
A series of lo-fi clips of Shady and his new girl move from secret love to full-blown arguing. The end of the video sees the couple nearly wrecked as Em's girl breaks news to him that she's pregnant. That is where Ed Sheeran comes in, with all his cleansing pop radiance.
The cleansing, in this case, comes in the form of rain - something that Sheeran seems to conjure with his crooning hook, answering questions about the perils of love, while bringing the literal and symbolic rain to wash away Eminem's pain. As the video comes to an explosive close during Sheeran's final verse, Eminem returns to the screen to admit what "River" means to him: "something I needed to get off my chest.”
The message from the Eminem-Sheeran bromance video seems to be clear: It’s always handy to have a bestie close by while treading the murky waters of the river of love. The “River” visual marks Sheeran’s second music video cameo of 2018. Last month, he appeared alongside Future in Taylor Swift’s “End Game” video.
Watch the dramatic video to ‘River’ below:
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