Eminem shouted at the world, and finally, the world has responded.
After years in the musical abyss, it was questioned whether Eminem would ever return to his former self. It seemed the once controversial figure was questioning his latest character, having gone from a media villain, trying to be America’s hero with an anti-Trump campaign.
However, as critics panned revival, the media refused to take his side. Was Revival a bad album? No. It wasn’t great either, it was just okay. Ultimately, Revival was just there. It felt like an album full of hits, which is not exactly what I want from Eminem. Remember this is an artist who joked about having a gerbil put up his ass during an intimate act, each to their own I guess.
This was not the biggest surprise though, for what seemed like the first time, the world of Hip-Hop refused to stand by the once most feared rapper alive. Multiple artists such as Joe Budden who labelled ‘Untouchable’ one of the worst songs he’s “ever heard” harshly critiqued him. For the first time in a long, Eminem suddenly stood alone.
However, it seems the over the top criticism of Revival made Marshall Mathers come to a decision, that his original storyline of Eminem against the world was the best synopsis for his latest album.
Kamikaze is mayhem. The world play is fast and furious, as he torches what seems like everyone in the rap game. It seemed Marshall had bit his tongue for a long time, however, the panning of his latest album while others praised the artists that had to come to existence through the explosion of mumble rap was the last straw for him.
This is when Em is at his best. When it is him vs everyone. For years Eminem has been trying to get people on his side, but now he is back to his f*ck everyone mentality. It is oddly refreshing to see Eminem return to his former narrative. For too many years we’ve seen Shady question his ability, yet on the second track, he is back to playing up to his ego, stating that he might be the greatest to ever do it.
In recent years, Eminem has been humble instead of arrogant, quiet instead of loud, calm instead of erratic, but not anymore.
However, on Kamikaze, the worst thing that could have happened would have been nothing. If no one had responded, then Marshall would have seemed like an old man complaining about the youth of today, reminiscing on old times and shouting, “back in my day…”. The one thing Eminem cannot be is irrelevant.
And thankfully he is not, now out of everyone who he called out on the album whom he’d have wanted to respond, I am sure Machine Gun Kelly would have been towards the bottom of the list because let’s face it, he is not exactly a world star. Nevertheless, at least he got a response, and if you are an upcoming star, Migos for example, is it worth the risk to respond? You are an upcoming act and hugely popular, being bodied by Eminem, which is a genuine possibility and would hurt the trio, just let it slide.
For MGK though, a beef with Eminem, even if he does get bodied which looks extremely likely, could boost his career in the short term. No matter the result, and it is not looking great at the moment, his career gains financially because people will listen to him. Rap Devil reached number 1 on the US iTunes, a feat he had never achieved prior.
Eminem calling out everyone and have someone respond is what his career needed. Eminem is not about hit after hit, for me he is about courting controversy. A rapper whose albums are highly anticipated and whose influence can never be ignored.
Ultimately, Eminem is what he hates most, the world’s most prominent critic. I do not want to see Eminem questioning his ability but somewhat belittling everyone else’s. On ‘Kamikaze’, that is what he did, rather than try to be the world’s hero, he told the world to go f*ck itself. It seems ‘Kamikaze’ was ultimately, Eminem’s revival.