Look who decided to release a brand new project for us today! I’m not all that surprised, because I feel like Eminem took it to the heart when the critics bashed his previous effort (Revival). On “KamiKaze,” he finally gets his revenge, and for the individuals like myself that bashed him last year, you might end up on suicide watch after listening to it.
Listen, there is lots and lots of records in which Eminem takes his shots at the music industry on this album, so it’s a bit refreshing that his aim is his main chick on “Normal.”
I find “Normal” fascinating. On it, Eminem attempts to actually make a complete record in which he’s admired for his vulnerability when it comes to relationship issues. In other words, he tries to be relatable for the first time in nearly 15 years, and initially, it works!
On the first half of this song, Eminem discusses the impact jealousy, miscommunication and paranoia has had on his current relationship. But as the song goes on, he starts to show his bi-polar side, and it was triggered by him randomly reminding himself how his lover two timed him in the past. From there, things go haywire… At this exact moment, the multi-platinum artist we know as Eminem turns into Slim Shady, and that’s when the threatening of violence towards his chick begins. (I knew you were somewhere in that 45 year old body, Slim!)
One of the main reasons I like this song is because it’s a peculiar record that made Eminem step outside of his comfort zone a bit. I also liked it because it reminded me precisely of the type of s**t J. Cole would make in the past (Especially when it comes to the flows and melodies he uses). It’s obvious that Eminem did his homework here, whether he was trying to be sarcastic or not.
4. LUCKY YOU
One of the few rap artists today that legitimately reminds me of Eminem is Joyner Lucas. Well the good news is that he’s featured on this song, and trust me, he pushes Eminem to be the best version of himself on it.
Over this pretty heinous instrumental, Joyner gets aggressive, practically proclaiming his spot at the top and challenging anyone who is ready to dethrone him. The flows he’s able to rap with is pretty damn impressive, but what’s even more impressive is Lucas’ comfort putting down his peers despite being a fairly new artist (Don’t you want to release a full body of work before you start proclaiming yourself to be the best, Joy?).
When Eminem hops on this song, it gets a lot darker… The beat morphs into a dramatic version of itself, incorporating some deep piano notes and eery feels into the fray. Eminem hops on the beat with a battery pack on his back, initially spitting like the youth of today, but ultimately going deep in his bag and blessing us with this relentless flow that has him barely taking a breath. Content-wise, he touches on the state of hip hop (once again), calling out artists that rely on ghost-writers, lean and trap vibes to get their points across. He also defends his rapping-style, crowning it the best thing since sliced bread due to the accolades it was able to accrue. (Numbers don’t lie, folks)
If any other rapper was to talk as much s**t as Eminem does on this record, they might have 1000 put on their head. But since he’s revered, the young twitter-verse will probably remain mute.
3. THE RINGER
As soon as you press play on “Kamikaze,” Eminem loses his s**t the exact way I wanted him to for these last couple of years! “The Ringer” is raw, as it features the Detroit native going after bloggers like myself who gave him a bad review for his previous album, young rappers who imitate Lil Wayne (Even calling them out by name), and everyone else that isn’t respecting of his mic skills. Throughout, he toys with many different flows (yadda yadda), but it’s his bluntness that catches my attention the most.
Thank God Eminem made that line about dudes talking about side chicks on all their records! I’ve been thinking that s**t for the last couple years!
2. NOT ALIKE
Never in a million years did I think Royce Da 5’9 and Eminem will rap over a Tay Keith beat. Never.
“Not Alike” is tough! Don’t get me wrong, the hook is a bit goofy, as it features nothing but sarcasm, but on both Royce and Eminem’s verses, you get pure heat!
Royce starts things off for this song, and as he usually does on an Em feature, he brings his a-game to the party. On his verse, he deciphers the amped up trap beat with such ease, dishing out sick ass punchlines and consistent flows like it was Thanksgiving day. Content-wise, he does his best to proclaim himself as king amongst his rap peers, giving the industry the musical version of the infamous Lebron to Steph Curry face after he swatted away his lay-up attempt in game 6 of the 2015 finals.
Em’s verse is a bit more complicated sounding than Royces, but it’s just as confrontational and dominant. On it, he calls all the tough rappers bluff, reminding them that they aren’t shooting s**t and that he’s the last one you want to test in the industry. Initially, he raps with this simple style (Correction, simple for his standards), as he focuses mainly on getting his point across about being a tough-nosed rapper to the listeners. But as time goes by, he absolutely loses his s**t, as he begins to showcase a bunch of fast-paced flows and clever punchlines to the people. By the end of his verse, the beat gets so overwhelmed that it decides to go home and let its riveting back-up quarterback play starter.
Can this be Eminem’s most realistic attempt at having a legit club hit?
Here’s why you need to listen to “KamiKaze”: Eminem takes shots at Akademiks, Charlemagne The God, Joe Budden, every single young rapper that doesn’t write their s**t, every single rapper that swagger jacks from Drake and Migos,
The Ratings Game, Tyler, The Creator, Kathy Griffin, and most surprisingly, the Grammys (They’ve been gifting him with awards throughout his career). He holds nothing back, and I love that, because I want to see how these black musicians (And pundits) he went after react to a white dude practically putting them in their places. (For once, soft ass pop acts like N-Sync and Backstreet Boys aren’t his primary targets.)
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. THE RINGER (5/5)
2. GREATEST (3.5/5)
3. LUCKY YOU (5/5)
4. PAUL (SKIT) (N/A)
5. NORMAL (4.5/5)
6. EM CALLS PAUL BACK (SKIT) (N/A)
7. STEPPING STONES (4.5/5)
8. NOT ALIKE (5/5)
9. FALL (3.5/5)
10. KAMIKAZE (5/5)
11. NICE GUY (4.5/5)
12. GOOD GUY (4/5)
13. VENOM MUSIC (4.5/5)
When you drop some music like this, I am more than willing to give you your due credit. “Kamikaze” features a version of you that is both hungry and motivated, and you and I both know that you are the greatest MC of all time when you are hungry and motivated. With that being said, I am thankful that you decided to leave those cheesy records you were making with your ‘insert here’ pop singers, bizarre accents and deranged content behind. No hood in America needed to hear that s**t from you.
I know I’m not supposed to use dear twice in a letter, but I did it because it sounded right in this particular summary. Anyway, I am curious to know which artist motivated you to make this album? I know, majority of your ammo stemmed from your critics, and rightfully so, Revival was shaky. But musically, I heard something different from you this go-round… If you ask me, your approach seemed very similar to J.Cole’s approach on “K.O.D.” — The album in which Cole said to himself, “F**k what the people want me to make, I’m about to show the world what I am capable of making when the cuffs are off of me” before hopping in the studio and laying down perhaps his most experimental effort to-date. He also played wise n**a to all the young rappers in the game on it, even taking aim at some of the cats you took aim at on a few of your songs on this project. I see lots and lots of similarities in both of your approaches to your latest efforts, but if you ask me, I think you delivered the approach slightly better :).
Can you retweet this review to all of your followers? I’m broke! I’m so broke that I had a water sandwich for dinner today, and I washed it down with a random can of Sprite remix I had laying around in my fridge. I’m pretty sure the Sprite Remix brand has been discontinued since 2003, so theres a good chance what I drank was expired. Pray for me, Em.
I promise this is my last paragraph…
It probably seems like for the first time in a long time you were doubted, and that brought out a version of you that lives up fully to your potential. Good. Your punchlines on this album were an A+. Your wordplay on this album were an A+. Your competitive spirit was an A+. Your singing skills, well, that was like a B-, but that’s OK, because Jessie Reyez did her thing on those two features she was on. Nonetheless, I feel like you put aside the urge to fit in — something you accused quite a bit of people of doing on this album — and instead, approached every single track like it was 2003 in which you were asked to guest on a song called “Realest N**as” with two of the realest n***as the rap game has ever seen before, and arguably came out a realer n***a than both of those n***as despite the fact that you are not an actual n***a! (Please tell me you are following me. I attempted to hit you with some of your tongue-twisting wordplay there). Em, you were a real n***a on this album, and your willingness to take shots at other ones that you saw as not quite that was breath-taking! Matter of fact, if I had the chance to name every single song I heard on this album “I’m Upset,” I would’ve done it in a heartbeat! Em, it’s ironic that your most random release to-date happens to be the s**t I expected to hear from you for the last 15 years, right? I hope you continue to release random s**t like this moving forward, and if not, the vulture in me will have something negative to say about you, and we will be right back at square one… I am ok with being back at square one, BTW 🙂
Undisclosed unknown broke man.