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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Eminem’s new album ‘Kamikaze’ hits the ground running hard

Eminem’s “Kamikaze” album’s front cover. Photo credit: Image courtesy of iTunes

Eminem’s back and he’s not only angry, he’s out for blood. and to say it’s the most entertaining thing to hear right now would be an understatement. The rapper released his surprise new album “Kamikaze” on August 31 and he’s serving out disses left and right.

After the critically panned “Revival” that dropped in 2017, it was hard to say where the rapper would go from there. Those thoughts are quickly forgotten as soon as the first track, “The Ringer,” opens up. In just this first song, Eminem manages to call out fake fans, at least five to seven of his fellow rappers, the journalists that criticized “Revival” and our current country’s administration. Keep in mind this is just the first track on a 13-track album.

Eminem reminds you who he is and why he remains, with tracks like “Lucky You” and “Fall” that seem so effortlessly crafted for his place in the rap world.

The failure of “Revival” is a subject that comes up quite frequently with lyrics like “Revival didn’t go viral.” Eminem’s decision to acknowledge that the album didn’t do well and his choice to call out media outlets that criticized the album does come off as petty. But it’s so entertaining that you have to keep listening because he is anything but subtle about who he lays into.

Eminem doesn’t exclude his self-deprecating moments and he assures listeners that he’s not perfect. He makes references to the anti-Trump freestyle he performed at the BET awards. In the track “The Ringer” Eminem remains very unapologetic about his anti-Trump views, but he regrets his decision to quickly dismiss his fans that were or still are Trump supporters.

My two favorite gems on this albums, have to be the skits that follow “Lucky You” and “Normal” involving phone messages between Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg. They’re both about 30 to 47 second long, and it seems weird to have phone messages on a rap album, but it’s the most entertaining set of messages that I have heard in a while and they both matched the overall aesthetic of the record. Eminem goes on a 47-second tangent on how a Yahoo user left a negative comment on his “Revival” album that struck a nerve. It gets to the point where Eminem tracks down this random user for the sole purpose of berating him. This is one of the most extra responses I’ve ever heard, so much so that I wanted to microwave a bag of popcorn.

The album isn’t without its shortcomings. The record finishes off with the track “Venom” which is Eminem’s contribution to the soundtrack to the Marvel movie of the same name. Why he didn’t release this as a single is beyond me. It feels and sounds like a shameless cash grab, and felt out of place compared to the rest of the album. As for the two skits, while I did enjoy them, I didn’t think they needed to have their own dedicated space on the record. But that’s my own nitpicking.

This album can be classified as one giant middle finger to anyone who’s ever criticized Eminem, and I’m honestly here for it. The only people who seem to be on his good side are about eight people including oddly enough Kathy Griffin. I’m sure she appreciates the shout-out. This album is worth a listen especially if you’re a longtime fan. That being said, if you’re one of those “fake fans” then be prepared to be verbally destroyed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Tracks: “The Ringer”, “Em Calles Paul”(skit), “Kamikaze”, “Greatest”

Least Favorite Tracks: “Venom”

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] or @Alexcoba9 on Twitter.

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