Eminem’s “Kamikaze” is his “Revival”


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Eminem released his tenth studio album on Aug. 31.

Colt Beat, Memorial Staff Writer

It was not until the year 1999 when rapper Eminem, born Marshall Mathers III, showcased his raw talents to the world, when The Slim Shady LP, his first studio album, achieved mainstream popularity upon its release and launched Eminem’s career. After almost 20 years in the music industry, the rapper has a sold over 220 million records around the globe and has been awarded 15 Grammy Awards; on Aug. 31, Eminem released a surprise album titled (Kamikaze), with no announcements or hints, making this his tenth studio record.

Though the rapper has proved to be successful and gifted, it seems that within the last few years he has been reliving his early years as a misfit as he began struggling to remain relevant in a highly competitive genre. This became evident when he released “Revival” over nine months ago, an album which notably received negative reviews that claimed his journey as a musician should come to an end.

Despite this, Eminem didn’t quit after the disappointing reviews. To prove he is still the ¨King of Rap,” Eminem explored his struggles in the hip-hop game in Kamikaze and critiques how the genre has evolved.

The first track listed on the 46-minute album is ¨The Ringer ¨ where he clearly shows his frustration with the media and the critics who constantly question his abilities as a musician. Not only that but he explains how mainstream hip-hop/rap lacks the uniqueness and creativity it once possessed. The song itself is a slow anthem that perfectly conveys his message of today’s music industry as he calls out mainstream rappers Lil Pump, Lil Xan and Lil Yachty for their unoriginality and over auto-tuned vocals. Meanwhile, he praises Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and J. Cole for their music.  

Following a song with confrontational lyrics, the second track is ¨Greatest,¨ where in fact Eminem proves he is the greatest rapper in the world. Mixing a little bit of guitar riffs and compelling beats, the background music perfectly keeps up with the rapper’s flow of words. He admits in his lyrics that ¨Revival didn’t go viral, ¨ ultimately suggesting that even though he went through a rough patch, he will always come out on top.

¨Lucky You,¨ which features rapper Joyner Lucas, continues the fast and upbeat tempo with vocals that perfectly suit the background music full of pianos and snare drums. The song is full of energy with criticizing of popular Trap Music, which has become a popular subgenre in hip-hop/rap. Eminem is not afraid to hold back on musicians’ unoriginality as many use ghostwriters. Not only does he question the legitimacy of rapper’s songs, he also pokes fun at how many of the auto-tuned rappers are face-tattooed prescription pill addicts who lack talent.

The seventh song is ¨Stepping Stone,” which provides listeners with a breath of fresh air with the nostalgic feel of older Eminem tracks, like ¨Lose Yourself¨ and ¨Cleanin’ out my closet. ¨ The song is reminiscent upon how successful Eminem was in 2002 and points out how it seems he lost his fame over the years, along with the falling out of his rap group D12, ultimately being the catalyst to his drug and alcohol abuse. The track itself is beautiful and the rapper is clear to admit his wrongdoings and mistreatment of others during his harsh times in the limelight.

¨Not Alike, ¨ featuring Royce da 5’9¨ highlights the differences between current and 90’s-00’s rappers. The anthem mimics the beat of a current hip-hop/rap song and also makes fun of unmeaningful lyrics. Eminem and his Bad Meets Evil pal did not hold back on mocking rappers who claim to be gang related and full of criminal history, when in fact, that is never the case. In the song, there is a perfect amount of satire and seriousness that creates an enjoyable and catchy song.

After feeling like the victim of a changing demographic in the hip-hop/rap world, Eminem reminds listeners and fellow rappers that he and other rap artists in his generation are the creators of the culture in the genre and have inspired the new generation of many musicians.

Overall, Kamikaze is a fantastic redemption to the failed Revival that proves Eminem’s continued significance in the music industry. The album itself deserves an 8.5 out of 10, as it is nearly impossible to produce a perfect album that meets everybody’s music taste. Though the artist has struggled in the last few years, this album will surely guide Eminem to continue to pursue his gift.

Contact Colt Beat at [email protected]