How many times have you heard a star say they were “just honored to be nominated?” Well, when comedian Chris D’Elia says he was truly honored just to be included at the end of Logic and Eminem‘s new joint single, “Homicide,” he’s not faking it.
The comedian/actor/podcaster and occasional Slim Shady impersonator was still a bit blown away on Friday (May 3) talking about how his viral Em-itation ended up as the kicker to the first joint effort from the two MCs.
“My manager called me five or six days ago and said, ‘Listen, you know the rapper Logic?’ I was like, ‘Yeah I do,'” D’elia tells Billboard on his way to a stand-up gig at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls, South Dakota tonight (May 3). “And he said, ‘Well Eminem has a new song coming out with him, and Eminem put you on the song, and they want to know if it’s okay?’ And I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?'”
So, D’Elia’s manager, doing his best for a client, assured Chris that he would see how much money he could get from the pair for the rights to the sample. “And I was like, ‘Nah, don’t do that, just give it to ’em, it’s fine,” D’Elia says. “I don’t care, man. It’s a huge honor. I have money coming in other ways. I don’t need that.”
D’Elia ended up on the song because of a video he shot in his driveway in September 2018, in which he does a killer breathless imitation of Marshall’s signature intricate rhming style, using a string of nonsense couplets about cabanans, stamina, napkins, papkins and papkins. The clip was one of the many ridiculous bits the You star has posted online for his fans. But it happened to drop just days after Em released his Kamikaze album, so it became a viral sensation, earning tons of praise from the hip-hop press as well as comedy and rap nerds across the board.
“I was doing it from a place of love — so many rappers take themselves so seriously, so when they show some humility or poke fun of themselves it goes a long way,” says D’Elia, an avowed Eminem fan from way back who has ocassionally busted out the impression on his Congratulations podcast as well. “And I love Eminem. I’m a comedian, so that’s how I show love. I’ve made it clear I’m a huge Eminem fan all over the internet.”
The first impression got some reaction on Congratulations, where fans said they loved it, so D’Elia posted the first video, and then followed with a second one in February of this year, a few months after Marshall dropped his 11-minute “Kick Off” freestyle. “I did that Instagram video when Eminem did his 11-minute cypher because I thought it would be funny to parody that and do it in my garage,” he says.
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) February 6, 2019
That’s when Em publicly acknowledged the tribute, tweeting, “This is INCREDIBLE!!! 4 a second I actually thought it WAS me!!.”
For D’Elia, that was further proof of why Em is “the best” as far as he’s concerned. “He sees the humor of it and him retweeting it was just…” he trails off. And while D’Elia says Shady hasn’t directly reached out to him so far, he has been texting with Logic — whose upcoming fifth album, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, “Homicide” will appear on — and he says he’s a huge fan of his as well.
“I’ve never talked to Eminem, he seems like kind of an elusive guy, but obviously he’s awesome,” says D’Elia, who admits to not being very good at impressions, but, for whatever reason, figured out how to do a very credible version of Em’s twisty, speedy flow. “But Logic reached out to say thanks, and I was like, ‘Dude, of course.’ We traded compliments, and he’s a really nice guy and he texted me today to say, ‘Dude you snapped and people love it!’ I wrote back, ‘Dude, that’s awesome. You’re the man!'”
Happy to be included, D’Elia says he’s not pushing for a sit-down with the dynamic duo or any other perks. “They put me on a song. I don’t want to bother anyone,” he says.
To be honest, he’s only known about the sample being included in the track for a few days — after Logic asked for his number earlier this week — and he has no idea what would have happened if he’d said no. “But why the fuck would I say no to Eminem? I’ve been a fan for 20 years! I’m not trying to make money in the rap world. It’s first an honor. I did my silly impression in my garage. I say, ‘have at it.’ I make money doing what I do.”
Listen to “Homicide” below and check out some of D’Elia’s tweets about the track.
— Chris D’Elia (@chrisdelia) May 3, 2019
I feel like I rapped the slowest out of all of us.
— Chris D’Elia (@chrisdelia) May 3, 2019
— Spotify (@Spotify) May 3, 2019