Eminem is back with his ninth studio LP and first project since 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Revival hit all major music marketplaces Friday (Dec. 15), and the 19-track project boasts Shady’s diverse flows, ranging from brash lyricism to intoxicating brokenhearted love ballads and uptempo raps over rock acoustics.
The 45-year-old has been known to get political throughout his career, as someone who’s unafraid of sharing controversial opinions through his art. Back in 2002, he destroyed the U.S. Constitution on “White America.” On the heels of 9/11, Em attacked President Bush in 2004 by sharing an anti-war stance, rapping, “Let the president answer on higher anarchy/ Strap him with an AK-47, let him go fight his own war.”
Shady continues his political agenda on Revival, touching on a multitude of subjects through his journey of self-reconciliation, as well as looking to the future — letting fans know that he wouldn’t stop rapping anytime soon. Em made waves on social media with his bone-chilling “The Storm” BET Awards cypher, in which he eviscerated Donald Trump.
The “Mockingbird” artist enlists numerous political punch lines packed into multiple songs over tuneful Rick Rubin production. Shady exhibits support for social icons Colin Kaepernick and Rodney King, as well as his dismay for President Trump and the women of the first family. With references aplenty, let’s delve into Eminem‘s most political moments through the 77 minutes:
1. “But they’re gonna say you’re tryin’ to take an irrational stance/ If you try to slander the flag but/ Somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb/ So they call it a Kaepernick tantrum/ If you don’t stand for the national anthem.” – “Untouchable”
Em has been a staunch supporter of Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee for social injustice, which has resulted in the quarterback launching a collusion lawsuit against the NFL for keeping him out of the league this season. During his “The Storm” BET cypher, he raps, “F— that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist/ And keep that shit balled like Donald the bitch!”
2. “Someone get this Aryan a sheet/ Time to bury him, so tell him to prepare to get impeached/ Everybody on your feet/ This is where terrorism and heroism meets, square up in the streets.” – “Like Home”
One of the many verbal assaults against 45, the Detroit native predicts Trump will eventually be impeached, while referring to him as an “Aryan,” which is a term used by Nazis to describe non-Jewish whites. With the very next sentence, Em doesn’t waste any breath pleading with Americans to stand up for themselves and fight for a more unified nation.
3. “In a country that claims that its foundation was based on United States ideals/ That had its Natives killed/ Got you singin’ this star-spangled spiel/ To a piece of cloth that represents the ‘Land of the Free’ that made people slaves to build.” – “Untouchable”
Eminem questions the contradiction of American ideals that preach freedom because of the fact the nation was really already inhabited by Native Americans who were brutally murdered by the thousands in a genocide. The “Not Afraid” rapper explains his disregard for the integrity of the national anthem as well.
4. “F— your Republican views/ Pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, where the f— are the boots?” – “Untouchable”
Slim Shady directly attacks the Republican perspective on politics, mentioning bootstraps to explain that those in poverty don’t have access to the proper resources, or “boots” in this case, to lift themselves above the poverty line and prosper in America. Martin Luther King Jr. mentioned this comparison in a 1968 speech.
5. “You stay on Twitter, way to get your hate off, Nazi/ I do not see a way y’all differ/ And all you got are race cards/ Better get the swastika with your name carved in it/ Should be your trademark, ’cause hate’s all you played off/ And you just lick the plate off/ So I guess it pays to feed off of chaos/ So basically, you ate off Hitler.” – “Like Home”
The most vicious bars against President Trump are on the Alicia Keys-assisted “Like Home.” Here, the Grammy-winning artist compares Donald to Hitler and accuses Trump of playing off of chaos and using Twitter as a vehicle to spread his hateful agenda.
6. “Kiss my butt, my set of principles/ Is gone, but till I get the president to respond/ My pen and pencil is a missile launcher/ And send it to Mitch McConnell/ Just as big of a bitch as Donald — shit’s on, bruh!”- “Offended”
Shady references his BET cypher verse against Trump, saying he will keep criticizing him in hopes of baiting him into a response and eventual confrontation. Em takes aim at fellow Republican politician Mitch McConnell on the track, who has served as the majority leader of the Senate since 2015.
7. “Wait, why are there black neighborhoods?/ ‘Cause America segregated us, designated us to an area/ Separated us, Section 8’d us.” – “Untouchable”
Eminem exposes the systematic racism that he believes still exists in U.S. government today. Section 8 was started in 1978 to provide public housing to low-income families to ease their financial crisis. The referendum has had a ripple effect, producing heavily segregated areas in urban communities.
Earlier on “Untouchable,” the Shady Records artist mentions the government’s unfair treatment of African-Americans throughout history, “As this beat backspins, it’s like we’re drifting back in/ To the ’60s, having black skin is risky/ ‘Cause this keeps happening/ Throughout history, African-Americans have been treated like shit.”
8. “This man just praised a statue of General Lee, ’cause/ Generally hates the black people, degrades Hispanics/ Take it back to the Shady national convention/ Wish I would have spit on it before I went to shake his hand at the event.” – “Like Home”
The 45-year-old yet again goes after Trump — this time, it’s his refusal to condemn a statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Em regretfully reminisces on meeting the future president at his Shady national convention back in 2004, saying he should’ve “spit on [his hand] before I went to shake his hand at the event.”