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"Kamikaze" Eminem

by Joseph Massaro - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Sep 4th 2018 11:00 pm

Eminem is here to revive himself after dropping an absorbing unannounced album last Friday (Aug. 31), called “Kamikaze,” which sent fans into a midnight frenzy. “Kamikaze” comes less than a year after the tedious and dreadful “Revival,” which sent Em into an identity crisis. 

“Kamikaze” finds Em retracting back, where he contemplates how he lost fans and critics with his last release and how concerned he is about his legacy. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be a classic fiery return if Em didn’t raise hell and diss all the ones who wronged him like an assassin. There is a reason why nobody disses the real Slim Shady. 

Shady gets right into it and unleashes on the opening track, “The Ringer.” Last year, with critics and fans telling Em to “study” and “take note” of where hip-hop is heading, Shady is pissed. He steps back and evaluates and mocks the current flow and delivery of trap rap artists such as Lil Xan and Lil Pump, who receive praise in the industry, writing them off as Lil Wayne ripoffs. He refers to President Trump as “Agent Orange” and tells journalists to “get a mouthful of flesh” by eating a penis. This was just Em warming up, by giving a glimpse of his enormous lyrical hit list.

Em samples Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” respectfully in “The Greatest,” which features the babbling Joyner Lucas. As Em ironically criticizes “mumble rap,” he sounds like a mumble rapper especially in the chorus on “Lucky You.” However, it still makes for the one of the finest tracks on the album. “Normal” finds Em sampling the shadowy synths of Little Dragon, a Swedish electropop band. As the title track’s melody gives nod to LL Cool J’s 1987 single, “I’m Bad,” it also shows the vocal delivery style Em was showing on his early albums such as “The Marshall Mathers LP” (2000) and “The Eminem Show” (2002), which made a high impact in the hip-hop industry. “Kamikaze” also features skits with music manager, Paul Rosenberg, which were tr explored throughout Em’s early releases. 

Em is at his best when he raps for the amusement of it, as he disses people in his classic freestyle way. However, the album falls apart sort of when he goes back to the modern pop ballads, which damaged his artistry. I feel like the only good pop oriented song Em ever released was “Love The Way You Lie,” which featured stunning vocals by Rihanna. 

Of course, an Em album needs to feature a song, that can be easily marketed in video games or film. The closing track, “Venom - Music From The Motion Picture” is unimaginative besides the bright synths in the background and the chorus, which sounds like two bells hitting each other. However, there is a reason why this track was placed at the end of the album, because it doesn’t fit in. It was just a marketing ploy for an upcoming anti-hero Marvel film of the same name. 

It seems like Em recognizes that he is one of the greatest rappers of all time, even if he fell off the map with a bad release. It sounds cliché, but every artist releases a bad album at some point during their career. At least Em was able to bounce back, especially at his age today.