“Hey B-HOP. Did you hear about the new Eminem album?” “Did you listen to the new Eminem album?” “What do you think about the new Eminem album?” “Are you gonna review the new Eminem album?” These are questions that I have been getting since Friday. Now I know how Rap Critic, Mark Grondin, and the fellas at DeadEndHipHop feel whenever a big name artist releases something new. Well, all of those questions are going to be answered right now. Yes, I did listen to the new Eminem album. Yes, I am going to review it right now. And because I know there are a few people who are going to ask this, yes (spoilers but not really), it is better than Revival, nothing else needs to be said. I originally wasn’t going to do this post because I don’t have the time or energy to make album reviews a regular thing and my schedule is already packed, but after hearing this album, I thought about it and did a poll on Twitter asking people if I should review it or not (BTDubs, follow me @BHOPDaMaestro). Unsurprisingly, most people want me to do the review and here we are. Now let’s stop wasting time and get into the review. This is Kamikaze.
1. The Ringer: We start off with The Ringer, where Eminem unleashes a fury of disses upon the modern-day hip-hop scene and the negative reception of his last album over minimal production. Going into this track, whatever skepticism I had for the album started fading a bit and I became more optimistic because this song is dope. Although parts of the song feel like bitterness and him using modern flows feels tacky at times, Eminem actually sounds more focused like the last album never happened. This is a good song. I give it a B.
2. Greatest: Next is Greatest, which is one of the best songs on the album. Produced by Mike Will Made-It, Eminem calls out rappers who think they’re the greatest, but not really while stating that he’s the greatest. My only issue with the song is the chorus, but everything else in the song makes up for it. I give it a B.
3. Lucky You ft Joyner Lucas: .When I saw this track and who was featured, I was looking forward to it. Lucky You is a collaboration with Joyner Lucas, an artist whose rapping style has an Eminem influence. While Joyner comments on not being famous enough, Eminem talks about not getting the recognition he feels he deserves despite his accolades and there’s more disses towards today’s rappers. It’s the third track and it’s solid just like the previous two. I give it an A.
4. Paul (skit): Here’s a skit that we haven’t seen since Relapse. The Paul skits are where Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg calls him and warns him about doing something. In this case, it’s making an album in response to the criticisms of Revival. I’m not gonna rate it because it’s a skit, not a song.
5. Normal: Aaaaaaaand my interest went down. Normal is another toxic relationship song and I’m not a fan. Don’t get me wrong, the rapping is fine enough, but Eminem has done these kind of songs so many times that they’re just tiring by this point. Dude, move on. Also, the production to this song is trash. This sounds like a Revival reject. I give it a D.
6. Em Calls Paul (skit): And here’s the second skit of the album that’s a response to Paul. Here, Em calls Paul to let him know that he’s not going to response to everyone, then proceeds to respond to someone who didn’t like the album while heading over to their address. Like with Paul, I’m not gonna rate it.
7. Stepping Stone: Next up is Stepping Stone, a song that addresses his old group D12 and all of the shit that they’ve gone through. He feels a huge sense of guilt for carrying the group on his back while he was blowing up and they weren’t at a place that they were hoping to be at, not helped by Proof’s death. It’s one of the more earnest songs on the album and despite the chorus where Eminem is singing awfully, this is a good enough song. I give it a B.
8. Not Alike ft Royce da 5’9: This is a remake of Look Alive. Seriously. It even used the same production. But honestly speaking, I’d listen to this over Look Alive because we have Eminem and Royce bringing the bars. Also, that switch-up at the end was so dope. Also, Em dissed Machine Gun Kelly on this track, who made a brutal response to it called Rap Devil (I hope Em responds). I almost gave this track an A, but then I remembered that it used Look Alive’s production, so it’s getting a B from me.
9. Kamikaze: Now for the title track and man, is this a underwhelming. This track is more focused on people’s reaction to Revival and how much of a disappointment it was. That’s fine and all, but two things: 1) this production is an annoying mess, and 2) Em keeps saying “fack” over and over. Because people wanted to be reminded of the worst song that Eminem has ever recorded. Yeah, I don’t like this song. I’m giving it an F.
10. Fall: Now here’s the song that generated the most controversy out of any track, mainly because of a line aimed at Tyler The Creator.
Tyler create nothin’, I see why you called yourself a f****t, bitch
No, I didn’t censored the word, it was already censored on the track itself. But still, the word is implied and people didn’t like it, not even Justin Vernon, the guy featured on the song. I get that Eminem is trying to be controversial, but at this point, this homophobic shit is tiring and he really needs to let it go because it’s not cool anymore. Hell, it was never cool in the first place. As for the rest of the song? It’s perfectly average, more disses aimed at a lot of rappers and industry people, a minimal trap beat, and a meh chorus. I’m giving it a low C.
11. Nice Guy ft Jessica Reyes: Here’s Nice Guy, the first of two back-to-back collaborations with Jessica Reyes. What the flying ass-monkey is this? Another toxic relationship song with plucky pianos, murky drums, and Jessica Reyes just sounding awful, going from off-key screeching to a rougher rap flow that does not work at all and sounds like a low rate Fergie wannabe while Eminem is just phoning it in. This is, without a doubt, the worst song off Kamikaze. It can go suck a dick. I give it an F.
12. Good Guy ft Jessica Reyes: Good Guy continues off of from Nice Guy and after what we previously subjected ourselves to, this is an improvement with better production and better rapping from Eminem. Jessica Reyes does the outro and winds up being generic instead of annoying. Not bad, but not that memorable, either. I give it a C.
13. Venom: And we end on Venom, which is made for the upcoming Venom movie that’s coming out next month. It reminds me a lot of Phenomenal, a mediocre song made for the movie Southpaw that came out three years ago. This song is also mediocre with stale production, less than impressive bars, and an awful chorus. If this is any indication of what the Venom movie is gonna be like, then things aren’t looking so good for the symbiotic anti-hero. I give it a D.
Lucky You, Not Alike, Greatest, The Ringer
Nice Guy, Kamikaze
Overall, I give Kamikaze a C. Seems like Marshall hasn’t completely lost his touch. The bars are there, the production better for the most part while weak in others, and there’s a lot less pop-leaning tracks here and more of him trying to adapt to a changing rap landscape that’s left him behind. There is that feeling of being jealous of today’s rappers who are currently more famous than him and some bitterness because of that and the criticisms of Revival. Half of the songs (especially on the first half) are really solid songs that shows that Em still has it in terms of rapping while the rest ranges from okay to below-mediocre. He’ll never recreate his glory days, but I believe that he can still make great music as long as grows up, let some shit go, and have access to better beats. If you’re not an Eminem fan, I doubt this will convert you to being one and you probably won’t get any enjoyment out of it. But if you are a fan, I do recommend checking it out. It’s flawed, but it’s worth a listen.