5 Things We Learned On First Listen to Eminem's New Album 'Kamikaze'
Eminem is big mad. After being eviscerated by the media for his insipid release Revival in 2017, Shady returned to the drawing board and concocted a potent comeback project in Kamikaze.
Never bashful, Em bludgeons any and everyone with a pulse, including Donald Trump, Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Pump and more on his surprise album. On Em’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, Em blasts his detractors, fair-weather fans and anyone who spewed hatred at the lyrical marksman.
Check out the five things we learned on our first listen to Eminem's 10th studio album Kamikaze below.
Em Goes For the Gusto On "The Ringer"
On opening track "The Ringer," 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."
Joe Budden and Tyler the Creator Feel the Wrath Of Shady
The complex relationship between Joe Budden and Eminem has been documented over the past year and change. Joe -- who has always expressed himself as a devout Em supporter -- skewered the revered MC during an episode of Everyday Struggle in regards to his performance on Revival.
Unhappy with Budden's attempt to blemish his name, Em clapped back on the remix to "Chloraseptic." Hungry for more blood, Em continues his onslaught on his new album, firing a volley of shots at Budden on "Fall." Somebody tell Budden before I snap, he better fasten it/Or have his body baggage zipped/The closest thing he's had to hits is smackin' bitches/And don't make me have to give it back to Akademiks," Em threatens.
Despite their murky relationship, Budden has yet to issue shots back at Eminem, especially since he has retired from rapping to focus his attention on his career as a media critic.
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."