As he hurtled towards his target, engines screaming as bullets rained down like memories from childhood, he wondered why they had given him a helmet…
‘Kamikaze‘ is the tenth studio album released by Eminem and honestly, it’s also the most aptly named. If he (good old Slim Shady) wanted an album to go down in flames, killing his career, this is the album to do that.
The reason this review is coming out a few days late is because I have been desperately listening to Kamikaze to try and find a slither of something I like about it. Its most redeeming feature is possibly a guest feature from Joyner Lucas, famed for releasing a track called ‘I’m Not Racist‘. A song that propagates racial stereotypes in both white and black Americans (a more apt name for the track could have been ‘I’m not racist, but…’).
Upon first listen, I thought this isn’t too bad. It has music in it. I like music, so, that is a good start for an album, but as it progresses, Eminem sounds less like the verging on horror-core rapper that he gained initial infamy for being and more like a middle aged man that is complaining about the youth of today.
In the first track alone, he attempts to go in on journalists, critics and a handful of other targets (I think?), but his shoddy direction (or perhaps misdirection? Is he transferring from Rap God to bad kid’s magician? Only time will tell) attacking everyone for any reason, particularly Soundcloud Rappers, feels lazy and contrived. He even goes in on himself for the B.E.T cypher claiming that it wasn’t that good (I’m paraphrasing, obviously), before then moving over to attack Donald Trump and almost immediately uses a very similar, if not almost identical, rhetoric that Trump has gained political triumph for (that man is an absolute codpiece). Em, you can’t claim to hate someone and disagree with them whilst you yourself (musically) are politically aligned with what they are saying! C’mon, man!
(Top marks for using the very amusing insult that is ‘codpiece’ – Most Amused Editor).
Subsequent listens have led me to believe that perhaps Marshall here is having a midlife crisis? That he has a close group of friends that keep telling him he will be okay but behind closed doors, are making raised eyes at each other and are low-key shaking their heads, whilst being able to hear Em scream from the other room, “I’m still relevant”.
I think another issue I have is that he attacks other (incredibly popular) songs. Not a new thing to rap in the slightest, but he carries on using the same rhyming techniques that he purports to have an issue with. So, are you mocking that style or are you trying to cash in on its success? Granted, double time is no new feat but maybe don’t mock someone for it and then continue to do it yourself…
The whole album is somewhat of a shambles and Jesse Reyez ‘s ‘Nice Guy‘ is just a plain f***ing bad song.
It feels as if the whole album is just an excuse to put the ‘Venom‘ track in somewhere.
Finally, for those that praise Eminem for dropping a studio album with no press or promotion, Jay Z did that on like the last three of his albums or so. It’s nice that you want to fan boy but Eminem is past his sell by date.
I realised that as I saw the ground approaching much faster than one wants to see it in a plane, the helmet was so that they could identify my corpse should they ever need to. I think what I would have preferred was an ejection seat, possibly around ten years ago.