Rapper Eminem dropped a surprise album on Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws

Rapper Eminem once again dropped a surprise album, releasing “Music to Be Murdered By” on Friday — along with a video that calls for changes to gun laws.

The follow-up to 2018’s “Kamikaze” — also released without warning — was announced on Twitter just after midnight.

The Detroit rapper’s new music video for “Darkness,” one of the album’s 20 tracks, depicts a shooting at a concert. The lyrics and storyline of the video specifically allude to the 2017 mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It closes with audio and video footage of news broadcasts from other recent mass shooting around the U.S. and an appeal to register to vote.

“When will this end? When enough people care,” reads the text at the end of the video. “Register to vote at vote.gov. Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America.”

A link to the music video on Eminem’s website encourages viewers to contact or visit several gun violence prevention organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.

The cover art features blood spatter and a bearded Eminem clad in a suit and fedora and holding a shovel. An alternate cover features the same splatter, with a now hatless Eminem holding both a hatchet and a gun to his head in an homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album of the same name: “Inspired by the master, Uncle Alfred!” Eminem tweeted.

“Music to Be Murdered By” is Eminem’s 11th studio album, according to his website.

Among many collaborators, the album features Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Anderson .Paak and Juice WRLD, the 21-year-old rapper who died in December.

By The Associated Press

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