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Eminem is big mad.
After being eviscerated by the media for his Revival release in 2017, Shady returned to the drawing board and concocted a potent comeback project in Kamikaze, the surprise album he dropped overnight.
Never bashful, Eminem bludgeons anyone and everyone with a pulse, including President Trump.
On opening track “The Ringer,” Eminem raps that “Agent Orange” sent the secret service his way after his ant-Trump performance at the BET Awards. He raps: “These verses are makin’ him a wee bit nervous / And he’s too scared to answer me with words / ‘Cause he knows that he will lyrically get murdered / But I know at least he’s heard it / ’Cause Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service to meet in person / To see if I really think of hurtin’ him / Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists / I said: Only when it comes to ink and lyricists.”
He does, however, express some regret about drawing a line in the sand between him and Trump during the freestyle rap: “But if I could go back I’d at least reword it / And say I empathize with the people this evil serpent / Sold the dream to that he’s deserted.”
Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Pump and more are also targets on Kamikaze. On Eminem’s ride to redemption, he enlisted a formidable cast in Jessie Reyez, Royce Da 5’9, and Joyner Lucas while securing beats from Tay Keith and Mike WiLL Made-It.
With a mountainous-sized chip on his shoulder, Eminem blasts his detractors, fair-weathered fans and anyone who spewed hatred at the lyrical marksman.
Check out five revelations after a first listen to Eminem’s 10th studio album Kamikaze below.
Em Goes For the Gusto On “The Ringer”
On the opener, Shady unleashes a salvo of shots targeting hapless Mumble rappers. Em openly expresses his disdain for the dearth of MCs in the culture, and has no issue slashing through the hearts of Lil Pump and Lil Yachty with his searing verse. Not only does Em recycle Pump’s “Gucci Gang” delivery during his five-minute heater, he dropkicks the youngsters with staggering blows.
“Get this fuckin’ audio out my Audi yo, adios/I can see why people like Lil Yachty, but not me though/Not even dissin’, it just ain’t for me/All I am simply is just an emcee,” says Em. It isn’t all bombs and grenades that’s being mercilessly chucked by Marshall and Co., though. He does share some love to some of his favorite MCs when he raps, “I’m gonna crumble you and I’ll take a number two/And dump on you if you ain’t Joyner/If you ain’t Kendrick or Cole or Sean then you’re a goner/I’m ’bout to bring it to anyone in this bitch who want it Em.”
Eminem Has a Fresh Eye For Young Talent
Instead of digging into his star-studded rolodex, Em keeps it light on the features this time around. On Revival, Em swung for the fences and nabbed cameos from the likes of Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran and more. For Kamikaze, Em recruits budding songbird Jessie Reyez for two tracks (“Nice Guy” and “Good Guy”) while snagging Joyner Lucas for a blistering lyrical exhibition on “Lucky One.”
In recent years, Em has openly expressed his appreciation for Joyner Lucas as a burgeoning wordsmith. During his talk with Interview Magazine, Em named Lucas as one of his favorite MCs in hip-hop. Not only does Lucas deliver a gripping verse showcasing his dexterity on the mic, he manages to keep up with the Rap God himself.
Em and Tay-Keith Sound Really, Really Good Together
Tay-Keith is most definitely in the running for rap producer of the year after shelling out three top five records on the Hot 100, including Bloc Boy JB’s “Look Alive,” Drake’s “Nonstop” and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” Eminem has always been known to keep his eyes and ears peeled to the streets, so when Tay-Keith’s drop on “Not Alike” rang out, mayhem ensued on social media. Not only does Shady flex his lyrical brilliance on the bombastic trap beat, he tags in his long-time buddy Royce Da 5’9′ to tango alongside him.
D-12 Will Never Be a Thing Again
Em’s candor isn’t at all limited, as he openly discusses his now-defunct group D-12 on his standout track “Stepping Stone.” Shady’s brainchild saw commercial success when they notched a double-platinum album with their 2001 debut album Devil’s Night. Their scintillating debut fueled consumer fervor when they returned in 2004 with their sophomore project D12 World. The group clinched their second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, but later encountered several struggles later on during their tenure together.
In 2006, Eminem’s best friend, Proof, was murdered. His death caused the group to spiral and lose their bond as a unit. On “Stepping Stone,” Em addresses the peaks and valleys of D-12 and why it was such a burden on him early on his career.
“The death of Doody broke us in two/We were thrown for a loop, ain’t none of us know what to do/And at the time I was goin’ through my own struggles too/So I wasn’t in no condition to be coachin’ us through/Everyone tried to go solo, really nobody blew/I was hopin’ they do so I ain’t have to shoulder the group,” Em raps.
Later, towards the end of the track, Em closes the chapter on his beloved group and says that D-12 is a thing of the past: “Done all we possibly can, I know we kept our hopes up/But the longer we spend livin’ this lie that we live/The less is left for closure, so let’s let this go/It’s not goodbye to our friendship, but D12 is over.”
dear god this song is horrible sheesh how the fuck
— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) November 11, 2017
Tyler, The Creator also wasn’t excused from Em’s lengthy diatribe. Em targets Tyler on the same track and calls him out in response to the Wolf lyricist allegedly sharing his thoughts on “Walk on Water” last year. “Dear God this song is horrible,” Tyler said on Twitter. Em lashes out and scorches Tyler with lines like: “Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f—-t, bitch/It’s not just ’cause you lack attention/It’s ’cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sack-religious/If you’re gonna critique me, you better at least be as good or better.”
A version of this story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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