By Lilybeth Hernandez
“Kamikaze” is Eminem’s latest studio album, and is unlike anything else he has released throughout his career. Without any warning, he released 13 new songs on August 31st.
The surprise release shocked fans around the world and is the closest thing to Slim Shady, Eminem’s violent alter ego that hasn’t been heard in nearly a decade, the fans will get.
The album spans a total of 45 minutes with rhythmic beats and flowing lyrics from artists like Joyner Lucas, Royce Da 5’9 and Jessie Reyez. You can easily take away from the title Kamikaze, that he is referring to the deadly attack of the Japanese aircraft of World War II, were Japanese pilots made a deliberate suicidal crash on the enemy target, which in this case, he’s the pilot and the enemy target is his critics.
The album is more of an insult to a number of people, particularly rappers. The 45-year-old rapper makes clear in this 13 track album how unhappy he is with the path the rap genre is taking.
“ Do you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow of everyone tho? Probably no,” Eminem raps in “The Ringer”.
Eminem targeted a number of mainstream hip-hop artists in “Kamikaze”. Some of the insults involve controversial topics. Most of “Kamikaze’s” biggest drama dates back years and decades. “Not Alike” antagonizes Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly for tweeting about Eminem daughter Hailie Jade in 2012. The single “Fall” snaps back at rapper Earl Sweatshirt after in an interview for Spin, he critiques Eminem’s fan base. “If you still follow Eminem, you drink way too much Mountain Dew and needs to, like, come home from the army”, in 2015. The single also gives a jab at rapper Tyler the Creator, by inserting a censored gay slur verse, aimed toward him, for insinuating that Eminem’s song collaboration with singer Beyonce “Walk On Water” which was mediocre last year. Machine Gun Kelly and Tyler the Creator were two names that had stood out from the list of the artist being dissed.
The album is filled with insults, but he does praise a select few from the current rap generation.
“ If you ain’t Joyner, if you ain’t Kendrick or Cole or Sean, you’re a goner” Eminem raps in “ The Ringer”.
Besides praising and acknowledging those three artists, he accused others of simply using ‘recycled material’ which he claims is today’s rap tone and music.
Eminem manages to create wild verses that shed light on his frustrations and puts out lyrics with heavy symbolic messages, proving why many have considered him one of the best rappers alive in the game today, and maybe possibly of all time.
“Kamikaze,” the song that is named after his album,has a recalcitrant vibe atop of an upbeat electronic dance partying feel. This song also features his well-known phrase word, “Fack”, in his chorus as he refers to himself as a kamikaze attacker who’s crashing into everyone.
In his “Normal” track, he states a common theme of the album, with the lyrics, “Let’s sleep on it like they did Revival.” Revival, his 2017 album that got plenty of backlash and criticism from a number of fans and artists. The phrase “sleep on it “ means to underestimate or underrate something. With this, he was trying to say that his Revival album should’ve been more appreciated, and in a sense, he’s trying to prove the critics wrong.
Some listeners on social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram, considered the album to be “trash” and “wack” while others said the album is “real rap coming back.”
While he may be older than your typical rap artist today, Eminem captures what those who have listened to rap music for over a decade feel in the songs “The Ringer” and “Not Alike.”
Eminem reckons in the album this all our fault; our voice of opinion for that matter. From the first verse of his opening single “ The Ringer”, the new album is an array of mass swirling daggers aimed at critics he swears don’t get it, fans he accuses of forsaking real talent for vacuous mumble rap, and young rappers he believes are selling content without the entertainment and substance. Eminem almost has a no sense of remorse or lacking consideration for the consequences “Kamikaze” could have started. And to some, that’s what makes him the best.
He’s consistent and precise. The rhymes are nevertheless mystifyingly perplexed. “Like a wedding band you gotta be a diamond to even climb in the ring” he raps in “The Greatest”, “An anomaly, I’m Muhammad Ali.”
“Kamikaze” is not for anyone. If a listener’s looking for an album filled with songs to party to or sleep to, this album isn’t it. If the listener cares about the content, lyric flow, meaning, and a storytelling; “Kamikaze” is the album to listen to.
For Eminem, his message of the album is to let us know to just be you yourself,and do you; do not care about what the rest of the societal system or world has to say.
The album may be focused on revenge and responding back to the hate he got from his last album,yet the album’s main goal like other albums is for fun.
Eminem tweeted on August 31st, 2018, “Try not to overthink this 1.”