Eminem disses mumble rappers, collabs w/ Justin Vernon on surprise ‘Kamikaze’
by Andrew Sacher and Jeremy Nifras
Eminem surprise-released a new album called Kamikaze, which comes less than a year after his lackluster Revival. Compared to its pop-ballad-heavy predecessor, Kamikaze sees Em dishing out angry, mile-a-minute rhymes over harder-edged, ominous production. (It does have a couple ballads, like “Stepping Stone” and the Jessie Reyez-featuring “Good Guy.”) The album was executive produced by Em’s old pal Dr. Dre, it has a song featuring his old pal Royce Da 5’9″, and to keep up the old school theme, it even has a Paul Rosenberg skit. It also features Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on “Fall,” credits Kendrick Lamar on the “HUMBLE”-interpolating “Greatest,” credits Little Dragon on the “Normal,” and features “I’m Not Racist” rapper Joyner Lucas. Production comes from Mike Will Made-It, Boi-1da, Em himself, and others. The closing track, “Venom,” is also on the Venom soundtrack. That’s the Licensed to Ill-referencing artwork above.
From the first song, it’s obvious that Em is angry about bad reviews, which is nothing new, but it’s just a bit funnier this time around. When he makes fun of mumble rappers like Lil Yachty and mocks their flow, it feels like just a bit of The Real Slim Shady is back. (He also seems a little self aware, as that Paul Rosenberg skit calls him out before anyone else can. “What’s next? Kamikaze 2, the album where you reply to everybody who didn’t like the album that you made replying to everybody that didn’t like the previous album?”) Also working to it’s benefit: it’s a good half hour shorter than every Eminem album since The Slim Shady LP.
You can stream the whole thing below: