“Tried not to overthink this 1,” Eminem tweeted on August 31st after unexpectedly releasing his 10th studio album, Kamikaze. Treating fans to a transformed sound that delivers the Detroit Rapper’s attitude driven flow, Eminem responds to his haters, throwing shade at those that bashed his rather dull 2017 project, Revival.
With 10 studio albums under his belt, Eminem has remained one of the most significant figures in Rap. From 1999’s The Slim Shady LP to 2009’s Relapse, Eminem’s angry Rap flow has accumulated over 10 Grammy’s. Visiting the thoughts and emotions of the rapper’s life once touched by drugs and violence in his early projects, Shady’s albums take a unique turn as we entered the 2010’s.
Eminem’s 2010 album, Recovery, steered the rapper into the pop genre. While the project focused on Shady’s battle with depression and drug use, the rapper shied away from authentic 90’s rap, featuring pop singer Rihanna on the song “Love The Way You Lie” and P!nk on “Won’t Back Down.” The album prospered, setting the tone for Eminem’s 2013 album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, featuring several pop artists including Sia, Rihanna, and FUN’s Nate Ruess.
Slim Shady’s 2017 album, Revival, served as a disappointment to many. Although the album was loaded with notable features, Eminem’s bland production and spiceless hooks left fans uninspired and confused. While the album focuses on Donald Trump and police brutality, Eminem failed to deliver his once electrifying 2000’s flow that we once appreciated.
Fans definitely weren’t sure what to expect when Eminem dropped Kamikaze a couple of weeks ago. The message of track #1, “The Ringer,” is clear: Shady is angry! Marshall successfully brings his original uptempo flow back to life, dissing all the “haters” in his path behind a powerful backbeat. “Do you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow...I can see why people like Lil Yachty, but not me though,” Eminem proclaims as he disses the style of today’s “mumble rappers”.
My personal favorite on the album is track #3 “Lucky You,” featuring Joyner Lucas. The modern trap production creates a sound by Eminem that fans aren’t used to. “Hatata batata, why don't we make a bunch of f***** songs about nothin' and mumble 'em!” Shady exclaims as he imitates today’s triplet flow often used by Migos and Future.
Eminem shames several rappers in Kamikaze, especially on the track “Not Alike,” featuring Royce Da 5’9. Using the Tay Keith beat from the song “Look Alive,” by Drake, Shady calls out rappers Machine Gun Kelly. “And I'm talkin' to you, but you already know who the fuck you are, Kelly,” Marshall raps. “I don't use sublims and sure as f*** don't sneak-diss. But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie.” This verse snippet fires shots directly at Kelly, who made inappropriate comments about Eminem’s daughter, Halie, on Twitter back in 2012.
As a response, MGK quickly responded on his track, “Rap Devil.” “Mad about something I said in 2012,” Kelly raps. “Took you six years and a surprise album just to come with a diss. Homie we get it, we know that you're the greatest rapper alive. F***** dweeb, all you do is read the dictionary and stay inside.”
Eminem responds to his haters in Kamikaze, successfully crossing over his classic flow with modern trap beats.