LAME OR FLAMES…
On August 31, 2018, Eminem unexpectedly released his tenth studio album, Kamikaze, the follow-up to his December 2017 album Revival.
On this album, Eminem takes shots at those who have perceived his recent works negatively, specifically Revival, which received polarizing reviews from critics and a mostly negative reaction from fans. Em also offers commentary on a multitude of rappers, the state of modern hip-hop, and his relationship with former friends and collaborators. The album’s title, Kamikaze, alludes to Eminem risking his career, reputation, and “life” with this album in the same fashion as a kamikaze pilot.
On September 11, 2018, Eminem released the first part of an interview with Sway in which he detailed his mind frame during Kamikaze’s creation. The second part was released the following day (September 12).
Here’s my list from least flames to most flames (not including skits.) Song info provided by Genius.
NO. 11 – “Nice” (Feat. Jessie Reyez)
Another song about Eminem’s relationship status, and being confused about some of his relationships, but just trying to be the “nice guy” in it all.
NO. 10 – “Normal”
This track expresses Eminem’s desire to be in a regular relationship, as opposed to the hazardous fictional relationships he has described in the past.
NO. 9 – “Fall” (Feat. Justin Vernon)
Eminem criticizes the current state of the rap game while also responding to critics of Revival, which received unfairly poor reviews.
NO. 8 – “Good Guy” (Feat. Jessie Reyez)
A continuation of the previous track on the album, “Nice Guy”, in which Eminem talks about confusing relationships and how he can turn them into good relationships.
NO. 7 – “Lucky You” (Feat. Joyner Lucas)
People have pointed out that Joyner Lucas shares many characteristics with Eminem in terms of rhymes and flow. On the track, their verses are polar opposites. Joyner’s comments on how he hasn’t received any awards, although he is steadily gaining recognition. Eminem’s verse, on the other hand, is about how he is at the top in terms of awards and status but is being overlooked on the current rap scene.
NO. 6 – “Kamikaze”
Out of all of the tracks on Eminem’s Kamikaze album, this is the track that may focus most on 2017’s Revival album that did not go over well with critics. As seen in this track, Eminem himself was not even happy with how it turned out.
NO. 5 – “Stepping Stone”
A confessional song addressed to Eminem’s old rap group, D12. Eminem explains that he feels guilty for using the group (“a stepping stone”) to increase his fame while the rest of the group remained stagnant. However, he feels some resentment toward the group for being the only one that was carrying everyone’s careers. As the latter half of the song reveals, “Stepping Stone” is Eminem’s way of saying goodbye to D12.
NO. 4 – “Not Alike” (Feat. Royce da 5’9″)
“Not Alike” continues Kamikaze’s main theme by dissing the “mumble rappers” who currently dominate the industry.
The first beat, which is produced by Tay Keith, interpolates Drake and Blocboy JB’s “Look Alive,” which is a prime example of the common trap beats currently popular. The second beat, produced by Ronny J, is similar to many “SoundCloud Rap” type beats. Eminem also cleverly imitates Migos “Bad and Boujee” flow in the hook, showing how easy it is to simply recycle the same flows, and put it on any type of trap beat. Throughout the track are examples of different techniques common in modern rap.
NO. 3 – “Venom” (Music From The Motion Picture)
The main song off of the Venom soundtrack. The movie’s main character is a sentient alien Symbiote with liquid-like form, who requires a host to survive. The Symbiote bestows its powers upon the host, and the new dual-life form usually refers to itself as “Venom.”
NO. 2 – “Greatest”
The fast going track features a heavy multi-syllable rhyme scheme and wordplay that serves to prove that Eminem is indeed the greatest. He also criticizes artists who brag about how much they have achieved when they have oversaturated the hip-hop scene with their amount of output.
NO. 1 – “The Ringer”
Eminem continues his criticism of the state of hip-hop in 2018, focusing especially on mumble rappers, some of whom he calls out by name like Lil Xan and Lil Pump. Eminem also takes aim at Donald Trump again, pointing out that the President has yet to answer his 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher.