The 10 Most Vicious Lyrics on Eminem's 'Kamikaze': Critic's Picks
With no announcement or promotion, Eminem shocked the world Friday morning (Aug. 31) with the release of his 10th studio album Kamikaze. The 13-track project features Royce da 5’9”, Joyner Lucas, and Jessie Reyez with production by Eminem, Boi-1da, Mike WiLL Made-It, Tay Keith and more.
Vexed by fans and critics’ reactions to Revival, Eminem got back into the studio to deliver a project that many believe is his best in years. He left behind the politically charged lyrics and rock samples on Revival for the vicious lyrics and gritty sounds of Slim Shady to give fans a proper Eminem album. Many believed Em had lost his touch but with Kamikaze making its rounds, Eminem is demolishing those sentiments, proving his status as the Rap God is without question.
Em is in fine form on Kamikaze as the 8 Mile rapper drops dizzying lyrics in several different flows that require you to hit the rewind button. With ruthless precision, he takes aim at anyone who’s said anything negative about him or Revival. Like a pilot flying his plane into his enemies crash-and-burn style, Em is taking a gung ho approach on Kamikaze, regardless of the consequences and criticisms that may come from it. As the world continues to take in Em’s new album, Billboard breaks down the 10 most vicious lyrics on Kamikaze.
“Do you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow/Everyone copies though? Probably no/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 MC” - "The Ringer"
On the opening track off Kamikaze, Eminem wastes no time throwing shots at the new generation of hip-hop. A minute into the song, Em tells his listeners exactly how he feels about the mumble rappers dominating the scene today. Mimicking Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang" flow over a haunting Ronny J and IllaDaProducer beat, Eminem states his dislike for the overused delivery while refusing to play any mumble rap in his car. Em name drops Lil Yachty while possibly throwing a shot at him explaining Lil Boat’s music is not for him and he rather listen to another lyrical rapper like himself.
“I don’t see why y’all even started with me/I get impeached, my enemies die/I don’t ceasefire ‘til at least all are deceased/I’m eastside, never be caught slippin’/Now you see why I don’t sleep/Not even a wink, I don’t blink/I don’t doze off, I don’t even nod to the beats/I don’t even close my fuckin’ eyes when I sneeze” - "The Ringer"
On this verse Em is asserting his rap dominance by letting his detractors know, despite the lukewarm reception to his most recent works, he’s still the ruthless lyrical wordsmith we’ve come to love. He questions why people doubt him before going into a fiery explanation on why you can never count out Slim Shady. Eminem is at his best when he’s locked in and the lines that depict his work ethic of not sleeping (or blinking while sneezing) shows how far apart these new rappers are from reaching Eminem.
“No more shiners, already too much time tokin’ rappers/ I hear you talkin’ shit, I’m just too big to respond to it/ God forbid I forget, go and jump out the window/ Somebody better child-proof it/’ Cause if I lose it we can rewind to some old Ja Rule shit/ And I can remind motherfuckers how I do shit” - "Greatest"
On the second track off Kamikaze, Eminem uses a speedy Mike WiLL Made-It produced beat to explain to listeners why he’s been going strong for over 20 years. In the verse above, Em makes it clear he hears all the rumblings coming from the rappers aiming to surpass the Rap God. He’s too big of a person to respond to the shots, but if he were to forget how dangerous it was to revert back to his Slim Shady days, rappers would not be prepared on how Em really handles his business. Slim Shady has no issue taking a trip back to the days where he, along with 50 Cent and the rest of Shady/Aftermath, served Ja Rule and Murder, Inc. a hefty loss that’s still felt to this day.
“Bars are like bullets when I spit them schemes/ That's why I call the motherfuckers M-16's/Float like a butterfly, I'm gonna sting like a bee/ You ain't harmin' a thing/I get a day hard as I'm gonna swing/ I'm gonna need to put my arm in a sling/But like a wedding band/ You gotta be diamond to even climb in the ring” - "Greatest"
Eminem’s stellar wordplay is on full display here. Slim Shady compares his lyrics to the bullets of an M-16 assault rifle, nodding to the fact that a hip-hop verse normally contains 16 bars. When Eminem says he calls his bars “M-16’s” he is also calling it his own bars playing on the homophones “Em” and “M.” The lyrical assault continues as he uses boxing great Muhammad Ali’s famous quote, a boxing ring, and a wedding ring to explain how he’s untouchable.
“Levels to this shit, I got an elevator/ You could never say to me I'm not a fuckin' record breaker /I sound like a broken record every time I break a record/ Nobody could ever take away the legacy, I made a navigator/ Motherfucker know I gotta right to be this way/I got spite inside my DNA/ But I work 'til the wheels fall off, I'm workin' tirelessly, ayy" - "Lucky You" featuring Joyner Lucas
Again, Slim Shady declares his rap dominance over the mumble rap generation with a mind-boggling flow that goes from the triplet flow mentioned earlier to Em’s trademark automatic rapid-fire flow. Accompanied by Joyner Lucas, Em discusses how hip-hop has strayed far away from its roots with the “hatata batata” of mumble rap becoming the ongoing trend. In the verse above, Em makes it clear the new generation of rappers won’t disregard his work or legacy like they do with other rappers that came before them. Like he rapped earlier on the song, “Shit is a circus, you clowns that are comin' up/ Don't give an ounce of a motherfuck/ About the ones that were here before you to make raps.”
"She's heartless/ No wonder we're partners/ Both got hundreds of charges/ Domestic disputes but we've always/ Swept it under the carpet/ Even when 911 gets the call that/ I slipped up and busted her jaw with/ A Louisville Slugger 'cause all's it really does is make our love for each other grow stronger/ She won me over the second she tried to run me over/ Told her I'd keep it a hun', we over/ Kicked her out, called her back now she's coming over” - "Normal"
Expressing his need for a regular relationship, Eminem tells a vivid story in the lyrics above about his tumultuous relationship with a woman. He understands why they’re with each other as they’re the perfect pairing, sharing hundreds of criminal charges and domestic disputes. Despite their troubles, they’ve always moved past it even when Em attacked his girl with a baseball bat or when she tried to run him over. These moments, in Slim Shady’s eyes, are a sign of the couple's strong love. The lyric is a throwback to the violent rhymes Em rapped earlier in his career -- which was always controversial, but his ability to tell a story kept listeners intrigued.
“I need Ja memories, jaw like strawberry or pineapple, apricot jelly/I respond rarely, but this time Shady 'bout to sound off/Like a fuckin' cocked semi Glock, demi-god/Let me put a fucking silencer on this little non-threatening blond fairy cornball takin' shots at me/You're not ready, fool, break yourself like Rocksteady Crew” - "Not Alike"
On this verse off the record “Not Alike,” Em targets Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly for the ongoing beef the two have had since Kelly mentioned Em’s daughter back in a tweet from 2012. Over a menacing Tay Keith production, Em eviscerates Machine Gun Kelly with bars attacking his persona, lyrics, and talent while asserting his dominance over the younger MC. The standout lines from the track comes at the three minute mark where Slim Shady again references his heated beef with Ja Rule in the early 2000s. He proceeds to rap in a fiery fashion while putting Kelly in his place.
"I turned to rap 'cause it made me feel tough when I wasn't/From the moment I heard rap was cussin', I was in/Which is why I identify with the guy/Who I was invented by, Dre's Frankenstein/Energized like a nine-volt, ice cold/Like Snake Eyes, twice in a row on a dice roll/But if the only reason I blow is 'cause I'm white though/Why don't every other white rapper sell what I sold?” - "Kamikaze"
Focusing on the negative assessments stemming from Revival, Em gives a visceral response to all the critics on the title track. He shows his rage with the public's reception by comparing himself to a kamikaze while also capturing the theme of the album in great detail with the chaotic production of Tim Suby and Eminem himself. In this verse, Em raps with a furious demeanor again using his sharp, swift flow. He touches on the well-known story of rap becoming an outlet and later a career for him while also referring to himself as Dr. Dre’s maniacal invention.
“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/ Say this shit is trash again, I'll have you twisted like you had it when you thought you had me slippin'at the telly/ Even when I'm gettin' brain, you'll never catch me with a thot, lackin' with it" - "Fall"
Eminem continues the theme of criticizing contemporary hip-hop while throwing direct shots at a few rappers on “Fall.” In the verse above, Shady delivers a lethal line to Joe Budden who criticized Revival on Everyday Struggle. Em took a shot at Budden’s inability to make a hit record, referring to his alleged domestic violence issues (charges that were eventually dismissed) as his only “hits.” DJ Akademiks gets a hot serving of bars as well in the form of Em mentioning Akademiks' faulty reporting. Akademiks claimed Eminem was “caught with a thot” after footage of the Rap God and woman in hotel surfaced online. The footage actually turned out to be a promotional video and Em flips Akademiks' folly into an impressive double entendre at the end of the verse.
“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 sacraligious/ If you're gonna critique me, you better at least be as good or better/Get Earl the Hooded Sweater/ Whatever his name is to help you put together/Some words, more than just two letters” - "Fall"
After Tyler, the Creator took to Twitter to voice his opinions on Eminem’s collaboration with Beyonce “Walk On Water,” the Flower Boy star received a fresh batch of scathing Slim Shady lines. Tyler has praised Eminem in the past but after his criticism on “Walk on Water,” the gloves are off as Shady rips into Tyler telling him to get Earl Sweatshirt’s help to properly diss the Rap God. Once again, Eminem found himself in hot water when he used a homophobic slur while targeting Tyler. The troubling lyric caused the song's featuring artist, Justin Vernon, to speak out against the record on Twitter shortly after the release of Kamikaze.