2009’s Relapse was Eminem’s comeback album. The name and cover art featuring Eminem’s face made out of pills, as well as the lyrics and the skits made it evident that drugs are one of the main themes the hip-hop artist raps about here. And drugs are also exactly what caused Eminem to go on a 5-year hiatus: his addiction to prescription pills had gotten so bad that in 2007 he overdosed, collapsed on his bathroom floor and came close to dying. He was weighing no less than 230 pounds (104 kg) due to the big appetite caused by the 60 painkillers he was taking every day. Add the writer’s block he suffered from and it’s not hard to understand why he became a reclusive during those years.
His comeback single alludes to that with not just the title, but also with lyrics like “It’s a must, I redeem my name and haters get mushed” or “Not to mention back with a vengeance, so here’s the signal”. It resumes the long-time collaboration with Dr. Dre, who is back at the production helm and also adds a verse of his own. The beat of Crack a Bottle samples Mike Brent’s Mais dans la lumière, a French song that reminds us of Dre’s versatility.
Aftermath fellow 50 Cent is also featured with a verse making it another collaboration in the series of many between him and Eminem. Other notable examples include Encore and You Don’t Know, both successful hits in their own right. With Crack a Bottle, Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2010.