An overview of Eminem’s new album “Kamikaze”

Eminem critiques new generation of rap in latest album.

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

Rapper Marshall “Eminem” Mathers surprised fans on August 31 when he released his 10th studio album titled “Kamikaze” with no promotion or pre-announcement.

Included in the album are a collection of mostly “diss tracks” towards other artists and critics of his last album, “Revival,” which received poor feedback from the public. 

The new album reaches back to Mathers’ older albums. Many people, including the producer of four of the album’s tracks Illya Fraser, say it’s the return of his aggressive Slim Shady persona. 

“To me it is,” said Fraser in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Right away he comes out just blowing bad, spittin’. This is Eminem.”

When asked to compare the album to its predecessor “Revival,” Fraser said:

“You can’t even compare the two. Apples and oranges. A lot of Em’s more refined fans, people who wanted to see growth in him, they liked Revival. I liked Revival too. People wanted Slim Shady. He was doing his version of [Jay-Z’s] 4:44. People weren’t ready for it. It’s the marketplace; it’s not the music. But you’re not going to know until you try, right? He gave it a try. He got his reaction. Then right away, he’s going right back to the drawing board. O.K., that’s what you want? And he delivered.”

Fans seem to agree. With a fan score of 8.1 on Metacritic, this is his highest rated album since “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” and is much better than the score of 5.1 of “Revival.”

The album also marks Mathers’ ninth consecutive No. 1 album, with only the Beatles, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley with more No. 1 LPs. 

But “Kamikaze” hasn’t come without any flack. While fans seem to enjoy the album, many critics do not. Pitchfork wrote that the album is “Eminem’s latest act of stubbornness in the face of change.”

While his technical skill is better than ever, and his wordplay and internal rhyming are unbeatable, the subject matter of this album does linger on the past.

It can quickly become tiresome to hear about how badly his last album did in most of the songs in the album. 

Overall, “Kamikaze” is a solid collection of diss tracks that is reminiscent of Mathers’ early music. For people expecting anything new from Eminem, you won’t find it in this album.

But for fans who just want to hear him doing what he does best, “Kamikaze” definitely delivers.

Feature photo courtesy of The Associated Press.

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