Rubin, who served as the song’s producer and Gladwell both dished on Em’s feelings about the current state of hip hop, the emergence of mumble rap and how it inspired the new track.
Gladwell explained, “They’d just been talking about the rise of mumble rap and there was something about that line, ‘I walk on water, but only when it freezes,’ that touched a nerve.”
Adding a little more context, Rubin explained, “For him, it’s a little bit of culture shock because there’s a new wave of hip-hop that’s not really what he’s about, so he was just talking to me about how that felt. “I could see he was frustrated by it,” he said.
A self proclaimed “student of hip hop,” Em went on to pay homage to rappers that paved the way for him including Tupac, Ice-T, The Beastie Boys and many more.
Reflecting on his intention for the track Em revealed, “It’s a very mortal song.” “It’s, you know, not being Superman, and what if I can’t come up with the best s**t I’ve ever wrote every single time,” he added.
“Walk on Water” is lifted off of Eminem’s forthcoming album Revival.
Check out Eminem’s appearance on Rick Rubin and Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Broken Record’ podcast below: