Rapper Eminem dropped a surprise album shortly after midnight Thursday and used a music video to call for changes to gun laws, recreating scenes from the deadly 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that left 58 people dead.
“Darkness,” one of the 20 tracks on the new album “Music to be Murdered By,” appears to show a gunman in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before opening fire on the crowd below at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
The scene takes place in the same setting as the 2017 shooting while lyrics from the Detroit rapper match the eerie scene as Eminem depicts the shooter’s inner monologue.
“It's 10:05 p.m. and the curtain starts to go up. And I'm already sweatin' but I'm locked and loaded,” he says in the song. “For rapid fire spittin' for all the concertgoers. Scopes for sniper vision, surprise from out of nowhere. As I slide the clip in from inside the hotel.”
He continues to describe panic at the concert but notes that a licensed gun owned with no prior convictions has access to vast amounts of ammunition.
“Leanin' out the window, going Keyser Söze. Finger on the trigger, but I'm a licensed owner with no prior convictions, so loss, the sky's the limit,” he continues. “So my supplies infinite, strapped like I'm a soldier. Got 'em hopping over walls and climbing fences. Some of them John Travolta, staying alive by inches.”
Gunman Stephen Paddock fired from his room into a crowd of concertgoers using an array of weapons, many of which were fitted with bump stocks to increase rate of fire. Authorities said the weapons and ammunition were bought legally.
The FBI concluded its investigation into the 2017 massacre early last year but were unable to determine the gunman's motive. It remains the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
Eminem's music video shows SWAT teams entering the hotel room, and listeners hear breaking news being read out over the fading melody, informing listeners that the shooter killed himself.
It then cuts to show media coverage from other mass shootings, including the 2018 Santa Fe, Texas, high school shooting and the 2018 Capital Gazette newspaper shooting in Annapolis, Md.
“When will this end?” the screen reads at the end of the video. “When enough people care.”
It includes a call to action, encouraging viewers to register to vote at vote.gov.
“Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America,” the video reads.
More information is provided on Eminem’s website, listing several pro-gun control organizations including the Giffords Law Center, Sandy Hook Promise and March for Our Lives.
The blood-splattered cover art for Eminem’s 11th studio album depicts him holding a hatchet and a gun to his head, an ode to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album by the same name.
“Inspired by the master, Uncle Alfred,” the rapper wrote on Twitter.