Wha! I hadn’t even had my cuppa in bed when I read that the God of rap had only gone and dropped a surprise album. Em simply posted a picture of the album cover on social media and exclaimed not to have overthought this one – I was not ready for this!
I wanted to indulge in this 13-track (too short) pool of lyrical genius before I wrote anything, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of immediate responses. Talking about responses – this album is a response record, personally and professionally, and I have to say I understand his frustration when millennials who write for the likes of NME and other media outlets, simply claim he has lost it and should retire. One uninformed article referred to the album having a couple of ‘weird skits’ – have they never listened to an Eminem album before?
There having been many outrages aired about the lyrical choices, and I guess my question to those people is the same as the author of the ‘weird skit’ article, – have you never listened to an Eminem album before? What are you expecting from him – bubble-gum pop lyrics?
Critiques are so 2-dimensional these days. You can’t really critique an album without understanding and acknowledging the context from which it came. But hey, anyone can write an opinion, however uninformed.
‘Smash into everyone, crash into everything,
Back, and I’ve just begun, Fack 2017
Fack, fack on everyone…’ – Kamikaze
Consider Em’s background (his social upbringing, his social circles, his place in society…), then consider the context of his anger (he even mocks himself for the fact he is attacking everyone who disagrees with him – the second skit where he responds to his managers message (first skit)).
Kamikaze is incredible. It’s hard to ignore his lyrical genius. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true, and there is no point attempting to reword it – it is what it is – and he knows it, as he indicates in ‘Greatest’. His brilliance with words is no more true than in ‘Not Alike’ feat. Royce 5’9.
I won’t go on about it any longer. Listen for yourself (Spotify playlist below) and to the critics who simple respond without consideration, I leave you with these lyrics from ‘Fall’ :
‘Gotta concentrate, against the clock I race
Got no time to waste, I’m already late, I got a marathoner’s pace
Went from addict to a workaholic, word to Dr. Dre
In that first marijuana tape—guess I got a chronic case (yeah)
And I ain’t just blowin’ smoke, ‘less it’s in your momma’s face
I know this time Paul and Dre, they won’t tell me what not to say
And though me and my party days have all pretty much parted ways
You’d swear to God I’ve forgot I’m the guy that made “Not Afraid” …
I’ve had as much as I can tolerate
I’m sick and tired of waitin’, I done lost my patience
I can take all of you motherfuckers on at once
You wanted, Shady? You got it! …’