Eminem’s ‘Darkness’ Recreates 2017 Las Vegas Shooting [WATCH]
A new song and music video from rapper Eminem, "Darkness," puts the artist in the mind and position of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooter to address gun violence in America. The track and accompanying clip dropped Friday morning (Jan. 17).
In "Darkness," Eminem channels Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more at the country music festival in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 1, 2017. His rhymes are vague enough to alternatively be from the point of view of an artist self-medicating and waiting to go onstage -- "Maybe I'll take it and snooze, then tear up the stage in a few," he raps in the first verse, following in the second with "I should get ready for the show now / Wait, is this the whole crowd? I thought this s--t was sold out" -- until the final verse.
"It's 10:05PM, and the curtain starts to go up / And I'm already sweatin', but I'm locked and loaded," Eminem raps. "Scopes for sniper vision, surprise from out of nowhere / As I slide the clip in from inside the hotel / Leanin' out the window, going Keyser Söze / Finger on the trigger, but I'm a licensed owner / With no prior convictions ... So my supplies infinite, strapped like I'm a soldier / Got 'em hopping over walls and climbing fences."
"Darkness" samples Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," adding an extra level of eeriness to the track. By the end of the song, the gunman has killed himself, warning, "You'll never find a motive ... Just tryin' to show ya the reason why we're so f--ked / 'Cause by the time it's over, won't make the slightest difference."
Readers can press play above to watch Eminem's "Darkness" music video, but keep in mind that the clip recreates the night of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting and may be disturbing to watch. The video ends with audio and video footage from other mass shootings that have taken place in the United States in recent years, including the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.
The "Darkness" music video's final screen reads: "When will this end? When enough people care," and encourages viewers to register to vote.
Fifty-eight other people died on the night of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting and in the days immediately following the tragedy, and a 59th person died from her injuries in 2019. More than 800 others were injured as well. The event remains the deadliest non-war mass shooting in U.S. history.
In August of 2018, the FBI closed its investigation into the tragedy without uncovering a motive. In early September of 2019, it was announced that the festival grounds will be turned into, among other things, a community center, and in early October of that year, MGM Resorts International agreed to pay between $735 million and $800 million to settle lawsuits related to the shooting.
Remembering the Victims of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting