Eminem dropped an epic music video-cum-short film for his latest single "Phenomenal" on Friday as an Apple Music exclusive fraught with product placement courtesy of Apple Watch and iPhone.
Coming in at over seven minutes, chock-full of martial arts derring-do, special effects and cameos from Dr. Dre, actor Randall Park and a chow mein-eating John Malkovich, Eminem's "Phenomenal" is more action-packed movie than music video. We even see Em beat down two henchmen with a prodigious fish.
Along with today's fresh catch, Apple product placements are scattered throughout the film. One of the first shots shows Em glancing at his Space Black Apple Watch, a device that pops up again later on the wrist of Dr. Dre. The iPhone 6 also gets some love in a humorous chase scene with Park.
It's not uncommon to see branded tech in music videos — Beats products are almost mandatory at this point — but with such prominent placement, and Apple Music exclusivity, it feels like Shady and Apple struck a sweet deal.
The video's release comes days after Eminem participated in an inaugural Beats 1 interview with DJ Zane Lowe, which itself represented the thawing of a cold war with Apple. Eminem and company filed suit against Apple in 2004 after his song "Lose Yourself" was used in an iPod ad without permission. A second lawsuit dealing with distribution rights was lodged in 2007 and later settled out of court.
Em's recent Apple collaborations are likely thanks to a long-standing relationship with mentor Dr. Dre, founder and CEO of Shady's label Aftermath Entertainment. Dre and legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine's company Beats was purchased by Apple for $3 billion in August 2014.
"Phenomenal" is the lead single off the Shady Records-produced soundtrack for Antoine Fuqua's upcoming film Southpaw. Em was initially tapped to play the film's lead Billy Hope, a boxer striking out on a hard-won comeback, but chose to focus on his music instead. Fuqua ultimately signed Jake Gyllenhaal for the role, with Eminem brought on to executive produce the accompanying album.