Time to pack it up, Kingdom Hearts fans; it turns out Eminem's new album does not contain any music from the game. The producer of the beat in question apparently mixed up the song he did for Eminem with another of his works. But the Japanese inspiration is still there, because he took the sample from an anime.
Gaming fans' interests were piqued when they heard a familiar-sounding set of vocals behind Eminem's raps in the song "Good Guy" from his new album Kamikaze. Before people could speculate for too long, "Good Guy" producer IllaDaProducer told Rolling Stone all about it in an interview.
"That's me doing my video game thing. Kingdom Hearts," IllaDaProducer told Rolling Stone. "It's a Japanese video game, and that's the theme song from it. It's one of the dopest melodies I've ever heard. Shout out Japanese video games and Japanimation for inspiration."
Here's a sample for reference:
Due to the nature of the vocals, many immediately pointed to "Simple and Clean" by Utada Hikaru. On a cursory listen, the vocals do bring to mind Utada's voice. And "Simple and Clean" is certainly an iconic video game song. However, IGN noted that none of the people credited on "Good Guy" were involved in "Simple and Clean." It's standard industry practice to credit those responsible for a track when you sample from it.
It was then that fans of the anime Tokyo Ghoul took up the search. They found that the sample bore more similarity to a song called "Glassy Sky" from Tokyo Ghoul than it did anything from Kingdom Hearts.
To end the speculation once and for all, an IGN reporter reached out to IllaDaProducer on Twitter. IllaDaProducer responded quickly, setting the record straight.
It’s actually Glassy Sky from Tokyo Ghoul. I got it confused with another beat I did in which I used Kingdom Hearts theme. You guys got the exclusive hahaha— illaDaProducer (@illaDaProducer) September 4, 2018
So all that speculation comes down to a simple slip of the memory. For now, anyway, Eminem's work contains no references to Kingdom Hearts. It does have a Tokyo Ghoul sample, though, which is a neat inclusion for anime fans. If nothing else, it shows how nerd culture has permeated the larger artistic scene. Just the possibility that a rap album contains video game or anime music is an exciting prospect that wasn't a thing years ago.
On a side note, this is the actual track from IllaDaProducer that samples Kingdom Hearts.