Legendary Detroit pianist Luis Resto, who has been working with Eminem since “The Marshall Mathers LP”, just shared some major intel on Slim Shady’s upcoming album, and it sounds like a return to roots.

In a recent interview with The National, Resto hinted that Eminem’s new project will be a hard-hitting throwback to his earlier work. He’s been working on the album sporadically since 2021, and from what he has seen and heard, it’s a deep dive into Em’s past and present, but with a clear nod to Eminem’s signature aggressive style.

I do have a notion of things judging by what I have seen and heard across the last three years and if I have to give you a forecast, you are going to hear a whole nod back to some of his original creative areas. He is talking about where he came from and where he is now. So it is really a hodgepodge musically of ideas and influences.

Resto’s collaboration with Eminem dates back to “The Marshall Mathers LP”. While his contribution to that project was minimal, their partnership blossomed with “The Eminem Show” in 2002. Since then, Resto has co-written and produced some of Em’s biggest hits, including “Til I Collapse”, “Mockingbird”, “Not Afraid”, “Darkness”, and many more.

He even shed some light on the creation of “Lose Yourself”, the iconic Oscar-winning track from “8 Mile”. Apparently, Em wasn’t feeling the initial rock-heavy vibe and pushed for a more dramatic feel:

Marshall led that session and I remember he kept saying how the song felt too rock ‘n’ roll and he wanted us to really rebuild the song and take it in a different direction. And this is where I got to use my orchestral chops and added piano, French horns, flutes and strings. I love the hip-hip ethos in general because a lot of it is based on using your ear and feeling your way through songs.

The Detroit artist also shared his unique perspective on working with Eminem. He describes their sessions as “open”, where musical theory takes a backseat to raw feeling. This approach has led to some iconic moments where Em’s gut instincts trumped traditional music theory:

I personally have knowledge of music theory and I am well-versed on how it all works but working with people like Eminem and 50 Cent is a much more open session. It’s not based on major or minor chords or what is correct or not. It’s based on whether it sounds dope or not. Sometimes we are in the studio and they would look at us and wonder if what they are doing is right. And from my experience, I would tell them that it depends on what context you are asking me. If you are asking me theoretically, then I could say that this is not the right note and then what happens is the minute we change it to the correct note, the song is not as cool as it sounds. We often change it back again because they knew what they wanted in the first place.

While Resto no longer tours with Eminem due to wanting a “youthful culture” projected on stage, their creative partnership remains strong. They may not always agree on the “correct” notes, but the end result is always music that sounds incredible.

With Resto’s insights painting a picture of a raw and aggressive new album, the anticipation for Eminem’s next project feels even higher. Do you look forward to Slim Shady’s comeback?

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