Let the River Run


Eminem recently released his album last month called “Revival”, with that he also released “River”, which was a song he did with Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran is known for writing and singing songs about relationships and Eminem is not, so this song got a lot of criticism especially with the fact of having a song with Ed Sheeran. With the song, Eminem also released a music video to this which had a very different video than most other music videos. He also decided to release this music video on valentines day, making it that much more meaningful.


The song, ‘River’ represents domestic violence and cheating in an unhealthy relationship. Although Eminem is not well-known for writing songs about relationships or anything in that topic, a lot of his known songs are about unhealthy relationships like, “Space Bound”, “Love The Way You Lie”, and “Superman”. Ed Sheeran also has songs similar to that, but ‘River’ depicts a relationship where a girl, Suzanne, is in a relationship but decides to cheat on his boyfriend with Eminem, and soon enough they end up having a baby who Eminem, feels should be aborted, and at the same time loses interest in the girl when her boyfriend leaves her.


In the music video, the director, Emil Nava, wanted to make the video seem like a documentary and something real. This was Nava’s first time working with Eminem but was not the first time that he worked with Ed Sheeran. With the narration and making it feel real, this showed how Eminem wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerability and shows how as an artist he can do much more and widen the meaning to a song and show it in a music video, also making it seem like a short film and a representation to real life, unhealthy relationship representation.


The lines in the chorus sung by Ed Sheeran can represent two things, when he sings “so let the river run”, the river could symbolize the Jordan River. The Jordan River in the bible was meant to wash away sins by John the Baptist. This can be true because in the chorus, the lines say “All my sins need holy water/Feeling washing over me.”. But also, the ‘river’ could represent the Nile River, which was made in Egypt as the Pharaoh would order his people to keep one girl for every boy they threw in the river. Eminem can be represented as the Pharaoh as he wants to abort the baby even though he is in denial. This also ties in to another song in Eminem’s album, ‘Revival”, which was the song “Need Me”, he rapped “I’m swimmin’ in that Egyptian River, cause I’m in denial”. Overall this song and music video showed a lot of sides of Eminem and his new style of rapping, and also his directors’ innovation as to making this music video different than others, this music video deserves a 5 out of 5.