Slim Shady is Back with Kamikaze

   Detroit rapper Eminem released a surprise album, “Kamikaze”, on Aug. 31, 2018 and it has been a topic of conversation since.

   Notable songs from the album include “The Ringer,” “Fall,” “Lucky You” and “Venom,” a song that will be included in the upcoming Tom Hardy film based on the Marvel character.

   In 2013, he dropped “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” which was very well received by fans and critics alike. In 2017, he released the album “Revival” which wasn’t well received at all and barely even graced the Billboard Top 100’s list.

   The numbers for “Revival” were only a fraction of what the “MMLP2” reached. This made it seem like the veteran rapper was really going to fall off, and fans and critics pondered if his time in the spotlight was over. After all, his debut was over 20 years ago. Then he took everyone by surprise and it got him plenty of attention.

   “Kamikaze” is on its way to becoming No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. If it does, it will mark the 45-year-old rapper’s eighth consecutive album entry in the No. 1 spot and make him the first artist in music history to achieve this.

   He is also on track to have his ninth straight British No.1 album. He currently shares the record for consecutive No. 1 albums with Led Zeppelin and ABBA.

   This is his tenth studio album, produced with his long time collaborator Dr. Dre. The cover art for this album is a fighter pilot crashing his aircraft, with the words “FU-2” written on the tail.

   It uses the cover design of the Beastie Boys’ debut album “Licensed to Ill.” The 80s hip hop pioneers are one of Eminem’s biggest influences.

   This album is somewhat political and references President Donald Trump, although this isn’t the first time Eminem has openly voiced his opinions on this topic.

   In fact, this album references many people and is the rapper’s angry response to the not so well received album “Revival.” Trump was not the only person criticized on this album. The rapper also denounced the media, the Grammy Awards, Drake, Lil Yachty and Vice President Mike Pence.

   This album is unquestionably being talked about, positively and negatively. Machine Gun Kelly, another well known rapper, released a nearly 5-minute-long single dissing Eminem and his new album, called “Rap Devil” (a reference to another Eminem song “Rap God”) which says “you’re not getting better with time/it’s fine, Eminem, put down the pen.”

   He is not the first person to call out Eminem for his age and say that his time in the rap game is over. The fact he is still releasing No. 1 albums as he approaches 50 speaks loudly, and his legacy as a rapper is acknowledged by many.

   Eminem is known for having a way with words, and his words are strong on “Kamikaze,” which has created some controversy.

   Many of his fans on social media have responded to him, saying that he doesn’t need to get nasty to gain attention while acknowledging how talented he is, but they dislike how he speaks on topics such as domestic violence and politics.

   Another controversy that came from the album was the track “Fall,” where Eminem uses a homophobic slur in an attack against Tyler, the Creator.

   While he has been liberal with the use of that slur throughout his whole discography Justin Vernon, singer for the band Bon Iver, was featured on the track and wasn’t in the recording session when it was used.

   After being questioned about it on Twitter, Vernon clarified that he made an effort to get the lyric changed, but to no avail.

   He later tweeted that “Eminem is one of the best rappers of all time, there is no doubt… I have and will respect that. Tho, this is not the time to criticize Youth, it’s the time to listen. To act. It is certainly not the time for slurs…”

   Other figures in the music industry have criticized the use of the slur, including Mikelle Street of Billboard, Matt Miller of Esquire and Dan Reynolds, the frontman of Imagine Dragons, who called the language “hateful.”

   However it seems that bad press is better than no press, and no matter the opinions on this surprise album the numbers are present and all the talk surrounding Eminem may be more beneficial than harmful for his publicity.

Kali Macklin
Staff Writer

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