After watching The Weeknd and Beyoncè torch their respective sets with smoldering efforts, on Sunday night (April 15), Eminem added the finishing touches to what was a memorable first weekend at Coachella 2018.
The venerated MC had the daunting task of following up after Beyoncè — who dazzled during her impeccable performance Saturday night (April 14) — and seemed prepared for the challenge. While Shady didn’t have a troupe of talented dancers in tow like Queen B, his lyrical gymnastics left an indelible mark.
“This is the first motherf—ing time Eminem is headlining Coachella,” exclaimed Mr. Porter, Eminem’s hypeman. Clad in a white hoodie, Eminem jumped on stage with his rabid loyalists roaring at the sight of his presence. Reveling in the moment, Em dished out a slew of classics from his unblemished catalog.
First, he delved deep into his discography and performed a multitude of cuts from his 2005 opus, The Eminem Show, including “Til’ I Collapse,” “Square Dance,” “White America,” and “Sing for the Moment.” Hungry to showcase his dexterity on the grandest stage of Coachella, Shady unabashedly dived into “Rap God.” The Marshall Mathers 2 standout proved to be a winner for his avid supporters, as they gushed every time Em flexed his highly-touted machine-gun flow.
“I heard y’all like when Eminem is angry,” yelled Porter before his Shady cohort segued into his remix for “Chlroaseptic.” The raucous crowd beamed joyously, watching Em aggressively pummel the Mr. Porter-produced track with vigor. Once he finished, Em jumped back to the classics, but with help from frequent collaborator, Skylar Grey.
Grey sauntered onto the stage and began singing the hook to the Beyonce-assisted track “Walk on Water.” As Em bared his soul for the crowd in attendance, the violinists amplified the somberness of the performance with their precision. The tandem of Em and Grey continued to shred through his catalog, later joining forces on “Stan” and “Love the Way You Lie.”
After allowing Grey to take center-stage with him, Em enlisted his protege, 50 Cent, for a blistering display of their 2003 track “Patiently Waiting.” Rap junkies blissfully rejoiced as the Shady duo injected a heavy dose nostalgia into the venue. High off the crowd’s excitement, 50 grabbed the proverbial wheel and took fans on a joyride, rapping “I Get Money” and his magnum opus, “In Da Club.” Brimming with confidence, 50 and Eminem kept the momentum going, as they wrapped up their time together on stage with their 2009 Grammy Award-winning track, “Crack a Bottle.”
Later, Dr. Dre joined in on the action and graced the stage to perform with Shady. The chemistry between Dre and Em was alive and well, as the iconic pair orchestrated their ’90s collaboration “Forgot About Dre.” Later, Em upped the ante and recited Snoop Dogg’s verse for “Nothing But a G Thang” with his long-time friend and collaborator. The staggering rendition earned a wave of claps and cheers, giving Em more energy to finish out his set strong.
Before bidding adieu to his devotees, Em returned to his roots, executing on tracks such as “My Name Is,” “Not Afraid” and “Lose Yourself.” As he continued gallivanting across the Coachella stage, one thing was clear: at age 45, Em is still a man amongst boys when it comes to showmanship in rap.