Kamikaze – Eminem | Is Em Spitting Fire Or Just Going Down In Flames? | Album Review

Kamikaze - Eminem | Source: Official Album Artwork 2018

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.

About Alex Vellis 15 Articles
Alex Vellis is an award winning poet, published author, and playwright from Canterbury, Kent. He is the poet in residence for Wise Words Festival (Kent), the Eleto Chocolate Café, and Canterbury Connected (BID). Alex's writing draws on the ideas of love, loss, and feeling lost; of family matters, sex, gender identity and hope. He was the 2015 Wise Words Grand Slam champion, and has since gone on to set up his own slams across the city, in addition to running the ‘poet in residence’ scheme with the “Rough Cut Collective” in Canterbury. He has been support for Shane Koyczan, Kate Tempest, Anthony Anaxagorou, Joelle Taylor, Vanessa Kisuule, and Dan Simpson, among others, and has performed at various festivals across the country, spoken at conferences in Paris, performed in Europe, and runs regular workshops on creative writing and performance. Alex launched his debut show, ‘Everything Is Terrible’, at a sold-out show at Wise Words Festival in 2017, and looks to tour in in 2018. Alex is a prominent member of the ‘Rough Cut Collective’ a Kent based group of artists led by Workers-Of-Art, and a main player in the artistic scene in the Canterbury community. He also mentors a group of young poets (aged 17 to 25) helping them achieve what they want from a literary career. As well as running a page for artists of different mediums that want to collaborate on new and existing work called “Vertex” Alex has been commissioned by the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury to write a play for their “Return Of The Unknown” project, celebrating the centenary of the end of the First Word War. The play debuted on November 10th 2017. In 2017, Alex was an assistant producer for the Wise Words festival in Canterbury. His first poetry collection ‘Everything Is Terrible’ was published by Whisky and Beards in 2016 and can be purchased on Amazon. Other collections of his work include ‘Journal Entries’ (self-published, 2015), ‘Talking With Impossible Gods’ (Whisky and Beards E-Book, 2016), and ‘Unmarked Graves’ (a pamphlet, Whisky and Beards E-Book, 2016). His next collection ‘Ships In The Night’ is set to be published late 2018. "Alexander Vellis makes the epic sound intimate, and searches for beauty in the ugly corners. His work is free verse, hip hop inspired, nuanced spoken word that works as easily on the page as it does in the mouth. A gifted poet." Joelle Taylor "I enjoy Alex's honest, accessible, and well-written poetry, which is delivered with an authentically friendly stage presence." Dan Simpson

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