Eminem loves his daughter.
The rapper’s star-studded new Revival album, which includes features from Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Pink, Kehlani and more, deals with candid topics of Em’s life, from a nearly fatal drug overdose, to his struggles with ex-wife Kim Scott, and, one of his favorite subjects — his daughter, Hailie.
In “Castle,” the 19-track album’s penultimate song, Eminem recites three letters to his now 21-year-old daughter, dated at various points in his life.
In the first two, dated Dec. 1, 1995 and 1996, are from weeks before Hailie was born (her birthday is Christmas) and just ahead of her first birthday, respectively. Eminem agonizes over being able to support his baby-to-be financially, ultimately strengthening his resolve to make it as a rapper, as well as marveling at typical father things, like Hailie’s likeness to her mother.
“You’ll be coming out of Mommy’s stomach soon/ I better do something quick if I’ma be able to support you,” he raps. “Just thinking ahead, I’ma make it if it kills me/ Let’s see how far I can take it with this music.”
The most emotionally heightened letter is the final one, dated Christmas Eve, 2007, just before Hailie’s 12th birthday. Eminem, in the thick of his drug addiction, struggles to even finish the letter, as he laments using Hailie’s name so often — bringing her into a spotlight she never asked for — rapping, “A lot’s happened in between them since I rised to this fame/ I’ve said your name but always tried to hide your face.”
“And if things should worsen, don’t take this letter I wrote,” he tells her. “As a goodbye note, ’cause your dad’s at the end of his rope.”
When the song ends, you hear the sound of Eminem swallowing pills and falling onto the floor.
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