Eminem back and on attack
Eminem is back at it. The 45-year-old rapper quietly released his 10th studio album, Kamikaze, on Aug. 31, offering a surprise gift that few could anticipate, as he had never talked about it before.
In Kamikaze, Eminem attempts to make up for his last album, Revival, which received terrible backlash and didn’t exactly go viral. He speaks in his new songs about how it hurt him that his album failed. The title is derived from the Japanese tactic during World War II of using fighter planes loaded with explosives to attack American targets. The word also is used as an adjective to describe someone who is reckless or self-destructive. Eminem, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, said he used the surprise album as a way to crash into everything. One gets the sense he believes rap might not be around much longer. Maybe it’s killing itself, he hints in his songs.
Eminem called out several rappers in his song “The Ringer” — such as Lil Pump and Lil Xan — criticizing their music and the way they act, expressing his dissatisfaction with the modern world and how rappers have become so careless in style and talent. He’s not alone in how he feels. In his song, “Lucky You,” featuring rapper and poet Joyner Lucas, both artists go on a rant on the state of rap and hip-hop. Lucas complains about how he does not get the recognition he deserves in the middle of these mumble rappers. Eminem, on the other hand, talks about the continued backlash he receives for allegedly depleting the quality of his music.
The album already has generated feedback from his peers. Soon after the release of Kamikaze, 28-year-old rapper Machine Gun Kelly put out a diss track on Eminem. He said in the song that if Eminem is the “Rap God,” then he is the “Rap Devil.” Eminem almost immediately responded by putting out a diss track called “Killshot,” which pretty much ended the short beef with the two.
It’s clear that Eminem, who started rapping in the 1990s, is not pleased with how things are playing out for the current hip-hop game. Whether his latest album adds anything new to the discussion is up to each listener to decide.