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“Kamikaze” by Eminem (Album Review)

Logan Fortner, Reporter

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Less than one year after releasing what most fans considered to be his worst album yet, Eminem is back and firing off all cylinders on his surprise album Kamikaze. This album seems to exist mainly because of the backlash Eminem got for his previous album, as we see throughout the new album he responds to not only critics, but fellow artists.

I’ve been a fan of Eminem for as long as I can remember. He was one of the biggest artists that I listened to growing up and it really pained me when his previous album “Revival” was a complete let down. While I still had some hope for a comeback in the future, I was not expecting to get it this soon. While others still may claim that Eminem has “fallen off” I feel like I speak for most listeners when I say that this is one of the best rap albums I’ve listened to in quite some time.

We see throughout Kamikaze, that Eminem isn’t holding anything back as he goes right after critics and fellow artists. People should have known that Eminem was only going to take so much hate before he started swinging back.

Kamikaze is very much an intense album that focuses on aggression and even defeat with a bit of comeback spirit mixed in, and for the most part Eminem stays fairly consistent throughout the entire project. It almost seems like he needed the experience of putting out an album that was hated by just about anyone who listened to it in order to reignite the fire that has gotten him to where he is now.

Eminem takes aim at many critics and artists especially, name dropping and even mimicking flows of Migos, Lil Pump, and many others. Ironically enough, almost everything that is great about this album pretty much sums up what was missing from Revival. Since Revival’s lyrical content was not a strong point most people had to focus on the instrumental side of things, but Kamikaze on the other hand has a very strong lyrical flow throughout so then the instrumentals end up becoming more of an afterthought.

Something that I really like about this album is the fact that it is only 13 songs, 45 minutes, instead of feeding into the trend of being multiple hours long with around 25 songs. It is such a smooth listen and by the end it almost just leaves you asking for more.

Despite a few questionable bars, there really aren’t very many things that I would say drag this album down. Eminem more than proves himself throughout this entire album and gives us the best version of himself that we have had in a long time.

The album opens with the track “The Ringer” and within the first minute, you pretty much get a taste of what this album is really all about. This is also a song where he takes shots at many people such as Lil Xan, Lil Pump, and even Donald Trump. “Greatest” is another track that opens up this album with a very angry spirit within it, and that is also because people came after him seemingly with the expectations of him not being able to comeback, but when he does, it is definitely an epic moment.

My personal favorite track “Lucky You” which features fellow rapper Joyner Lucas, is full of lightning quick flows and really shows both of their abilities as artists as the combination of both styles mesh together very well. In between two of the best skits in hip-hop history on an album there is the track “Normal” and this song definitely takes a turn away from gunning down other rappers and critics. This song talks about Eminem’s relationships and how he just can’t seem to find someone “normal”. While I could see why others would like this, it honestly is one of my least favorite songs on the album.

“Stepping Stone” is another one of my favorites as it focuses on Eminem’s ‘now’ former rap group D12. He talks about how he felt the burden to lift up all of the other members and help them get started on their solo careers that never really landed. On “Not Alike” Eminem mocks the fact that rap no longer has a backbone or any real personality. He also buries MGK for certain inappropriate comments he made in the past about his daughter. After the track “Fall” Eminem stumbles a bit with the worst song on this album, “Nice Guy”. It was not easy going back to listen to this song more than once, there are no redeemable factors and it definitely drags this album down. “Good Guy” isn’t a great track but I also wouldn’t consider it to be bad either. The album closes with “Venom”, which was written for the upcoming Marvel movie, and will get stuck in your head right when you hear the chorus for the first time.

Kamikaze is a great album and a very good comeback. While many people are going to try to find ways to tear it apart, when you break it down this album is a very hard one to find anything wrong with as it just has so many things going for it. Eminem has truly made one of the biggest comebacks we’ve seen in recent time. If you are at all a fan of rap I’d suggest that you give this album a listen as it is more than likely one I’ll be listening to for years to come.

 

“Kamikaze”

Aftermath Entertainment

Release: 8/31/18

Rating: 4/5

 

Favorite Tracks: Lucky You, Stepping Stone, The Ringer, Venom

Least Favorite Tracks: Nice Guy, Normal

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