Hip hop has changed, though with the first bars from the latest album Kamikaze from Eminem, no one told the talented mic spitter. With dated sounding beats and cluttered verses, the album sounds a lot like the past rehashed, in the least ironic way possible.
We all know Em can rhyme. We all know he can fill out rhymes with tons of words. We all know he’s a talented rapper.
Though, his “anger” and his “diss” tracks seem a bit mismanaged here. Eminem is a pretty wealthy guy, who hasn’t suffered in twenty years. He commands a hefty pay check whenever he performs, and that’s a deserved amount because he can sell tickets. But, with the opener “The Ringer” his angered verse seems a bit off track coming from a guy who has very little reason to be angered over anything. Dropping rhymes in double time is impressive, but the narrative here isn’t.
This continues into the track “Normal” where Eminem spitting again, about his ex. It’s a pretty tired account honestly. When you’re known for having lyrics about murdering your ex via fantasy, it feels like Eminem has about two narratives to rap about, both of which are tiresome.
The two highlights from the album come from his feature tracks, the first being “Lucky You” with Joyner Lucas. Lucas shines as the opener on the track, and the beat as well as the hook hit and hit hard. Lucas spits fast and it pays off here. The second shining moment comes from the best track off the release, “Not Alike” featuring Royce Da 5’9. With nods to the past on the beat, Royce breathes new life into Em’s sound and gives him a more relevant notation in a time where Eminem isn’t the biggest rapper on the planet anymore.
It’s an overall shame, that a guy who can rhyme so well, who can spit hard and fast, seems to not have anything new to rap about. While Eminem will always command respect in terms of his abilities, he seems to need more life experience in terms of what he writes about.
You can stream Kamikaze on all platforms, or purchase it from all digital storefronts. There’s no word of tour dates in support of the album or not, though it has tracked well in terms of streaming and sales. You can purchase Kamikaze directly from the Eminem web store.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Interscope Records.