Eminem’s music videos come in two basic flavors: silly or serious. His new clip for “Not Afraid,” the first single from June 22’s Recovery, is definitely the latter, and it’s full of call-backs to previous entries in this section of his video canon. The first half of the video cuts back and forth between a windy rooftop (shades of “The Way I Am”) and a grimy 8 Mile-style basement. Eminem paces and gesticulates, as we’ve seen him do so many times before. We are to understand that he is once again at wit’s end with the world, full of barely contained energy that he’s not yet sure how to direct.

Eventually Eminem begins walking the streets, where he finds a creepy hall of mirrors and, later, a gaping crater in the asphalt. (Preserved amid the wreckage is a billboard for Beats by Dre headphones. Nice product placement.) He stops walking. This is where he is needed. He dives into the hole, again recalling “The Way I Am.” He begins to fly. The streets fill with light as he rushes by. The music swells. Super-Eminem will save us all from ourselves with his motivational rhymes!

Is this Eminem’s greatest video? Probably not, but it does do a great job of matching the redemptive vibe of “Not Afraid.” Check out the clip after the jump (some NSFW language) and let us know what you think.

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