Steve Miller and Eminem form an unexpectedly great duo

Many musical artists borrow from others, but the Steve Miller and Eminem situation is different.
Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band
Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band / Paul Natkin/GettyImages

There is something about the perfect sample that can make a rap track work. The wrong sample and the song might sound silly. This ability to choose is partly what separates an original and fantastic musical artist from one who seems like a hack. Eminem is one of the great ones.

For his latest trick, Eminem interpolated the Steve Miller Band's 1982 hit "Abracadabra" into his new song "Houdini." Steve Miller's song appears to be one that fits so perfectly with the Detroit-based rapper's track that one might say, "Why didn't I think of that?" But then, how many Eminems are there in the world? Few, and we are likely not one of them.

Miller was so happy with how Eminem used his track that he posted a long and heartfelt essay on Instagram. You can read some of it below, but it is clear that Miller was genuinely moved by Eminem's "Houdini." A person does not write as honestly as Miller did and have the words not come from a point of falsehood.

Steve Miller has some high praise for Eminem

Miller wrote, in part, "There is a long chain of stories, poetry, lyrics, and musical roots that have crossed cultures and generations inspiring the whole world for hundreds of years and in all those lines of thought, music, and rhythm there are special artists who take it all in and create new original ideas from their own feelings and experiences. You are one of those timeless originators building something new on a long musical legacy of original artists...To be included in (Eminem's) process feels good while I’m still singing and playing the music I love.  I’m Honored."

Miller's "Abracadabra" spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. The song is a little gimmicky, sure, but there is no doubt that the track is a Steve Miller tune. There is a sense of timelessness in the engineering and excellent decision-making when to include which instruments. Plus, the guitar solo is still rather unique.

This is also not the first time that Miller's music has been sampled by a rap artist. Others that used his songs include Ice Cube, N.W.A., and the Beastie Boys. While Miller's tracks do not appear to relate to rap at all, good music is good music and great artists will find a way to use it.

Next. Five songs from the 1980s that were better than they should be. Five songs from the 1980s that were better than they should be. dark

"Houdini" is the first single from Eminem's new album, The Death of Slim Shady (Coup De Grâce). There is no release date for the record yet. The expectation is that during the summer the album will drop.

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