Tag Archives: Rap God

Rap God vs Rap Devil

Today saw the release of Eminem’s Kamikaze (if you’re old-fashioned like me, and don’t download).

Since the album dropped, MP3-style, the reception of Kamikaze has been insane. But this post is about Machine Gun Kelly’s diss track that surfaced three days after Kamikaze dropped. In Em’s track ‘Fall’, he attacks multiple rappers, and in response to a few lines about him, Machine Gun Kelly, has released a ‘diss track’. He’s brave, or stupid!

My initial thoughts on MGK’s ‘Rap Devil’ was that it wasn’t bad, except the auto-tune chorus, I didn’t like that, but overall, initially it wasn’t bad. But the more I listened it, it sounded childish, with no real content to back it up with, and with pretty poor delivery. He spits well, but let’s face it, he’s not the Rap God.

JayBlac points out, ‘he’s young, Eminem, he doesn’t know what he’s sayin’ … MGK doesn’t know what he’s doin’ right now, bro.’ Orlando Rob also reacts, ‘the one thing with Eminem, you don’t wanna get personal…so all these young dudes out there, that are tryin’ to get back at Eminem for callin’ them out, Imma tell you right now, keep it with the music…if not, Eminem’s gonna end you … Machine Gun Kelly, he’s gonna dig into your past, and he’s going to end you, even though technically, you never started.’ The favourite term being thrown around here is ‘white on white crime’, this thing is only just startin’, and I’ll be honest, I’m stupidly excited to see where this goes.

We have to remember where Em comes from, where he started. He was B-Rabbit, he was on the streets taking part in battle raps. MGK hasn’t got a chance – he gave it good, but not good enough.

If you’re gonna critique me
You better at least be as good or better – ‘Fall’ by Eminem

‘Rap Devil’ has mixed messages too. Em knows straight what he wants to say and he says it. MGK can’t make his mind up whether he admires Em or not. The more you listen to ‘Rap Devil’, the more it sounds like a love letter to Eminem in disguise. The one thing that troubled me more than anything though was the level of ageism. MGK is clearly unaware that he’s going to age too. What I can say for certain is that when he’s 46 it is highly unlikely he will rapping in the mainstream, and no matter how old he is, he won’t ever be doing it the way that Em does it. He should retire now if his goal is to conquer the rap god.

Just remember, I was here before you
And I’ll be here after you make your run-in for you – ‘Fall’ by Eminem

So why did this all start? Em has always been protective of his daughter, and most fathers would be pissed if some punk-ass guy was leching over his 16 year old daughter  – keeping in mind that Em’s daughter was classed as underage at the time too.

So what’s going to happen now? Hip Hop is known for it’s diss tracks and beefs, but in the industry, everyone knows who not to mention, merely because of the impact it will have on their career (and that’s a negative, not a positive). We’re all sitting on the edge of seats right now.

In ‘Rap Devil’, MGK thanks Em for introducing him to all his fans – that’s not something to celebrate, we’re waiting for the lyrical ass-kicking, we’re not going to suddenly buy your record.

Will Em respond?

RediKnow lists the following as possibilities:

  1. Eminem ignores it – though highly unlikely.
  2. 50Cent & D12 invite themselves into the Battle as this has happened before – Bizarre (D12) has already responded ‘I think it was good … I think he stayed up all night, wrote the best possible bars that he possibly could … but boy, the repercussions … that boy gonna do you summin’ nasty. You better stop playin’ with that boy’
  3. Kamikaze victims collaborate – again, highly unlikely as they all know that they can’t out-rap Em.
  4. Eminem responds and shreds MGK career – Many believe this is the most likely outcome and that MGK’s career will not survive.

So, quite a bit of pressure on Em, but his track record for destroying people in his music is so extensive that we have no doubts that this will just be another nail in the coffin. 



A New Raw Biographical Soundtrack from Rap God, Eminem


Eminem dropped Revival in December 2017, four years after his last album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Over the last couple of decades, Eminem’s music has evolved into a profound narrative, spattered with entertaining tracks allowing the listener to really appreciate the complexity which is Marshall Mathers. This 19-track album is a psychological rollercoaster that gives us a front seat view through Eminem’s eyes.

Revival opens with ‘Walking on Water’ feat. Beyoncé which thrusts you straight into the cranium of Eminem – his thoughts both light and dark, and contemplative and honest. ‘Walking on Water’ conveys his feelings about being an idol on the pedestal of his fans. Its revealing narrative explores his battles with his ability and confidence in his material, his vulnerability within the industry, and the expectations with every line he writes. Back in November, Eminem performed this track on Saturday Night Live with Skylar Grey singing the part of Beyoncé, and I wish he had used Skylar for the album track as her emotional delivery balances his faultlessly.


The album explores the current American political landscape with a series of tracks hitting out at the police force and Donald Trump. Eminem’s playful Slim Shady persona makes an appearance, in all but name, in the fun but very serious ‘Untouchable’ track – a politically charged rant about racial segregation in America, specifically the issues surrounding white members of the police force and the black communities. It’s certainly an anthem of Black Lives Matter. This track is another demonstration of Eminem’s ability to give us an unforgettable tune whilst discoursing on a politically charged subject.

The present dogmatic state of America is a catalyst for Eminem’s frustration and sorrow. He has pride in his country, and yet he is heartbroken at where it is now. This is most notably broadcast in ‘Like Home’ feat. Alicia Keys, which responds to Trump and the division he is causing, as opposed to the home he was raised in – the real America. This is a very patriotic song..


The biggest surprise here was perhaps ‘River’, not the subject matter of domestic abuse and failed relationships – which is familiar in Eminem’s work – but the part of Ed Sheeran. I’m guessing a large portion of Eminem fans don’t listen to Ed Sheeran. The song itself is another autobiographical exploration, but I think it will be hard to accept Ed Sheeran’s place on the song. That’s not to discredit Sheeran’s standalone talent, more that the two don’t marry well.

Another duet on the album worth noting is with the ‘Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken’ singer, P!nk. ‘Need Me’ is certainly the complete reverse to P!nk’s track feat. Eminem, ‘Revenge,’ from her most recent album Beautiful Trauma, and yet the subject matter is also very similar: the distress of a relationship, the mixed messages, and the complexities and confusions of being in a relationship. As usual, P!nk delivers an incredibly moving performance, which is the undertone of ‘Need Me.’ She is equally an artist who wears her heart on her sleeve, and is very open with her opinions and life’s demons.


As a reprise to the heavy emotional narrative of Revival, Eminem has given us some phenomenally catchy tracks, many of which sample some classic songs, such as ‘Remind Me’ which sounds like Eminem is channelling Slim Shady two decades later – it’s fun, it’s memorable and samples the rock hit ‘I love Rock n Roll’ by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. ‘Heat’ is a sexually fuelled track sampling the introduction to ‘Feel the Heat’ from Boogie Nights, and ‘In Your Head’ samples The Cranberries ‘Zombie’ track – which somehow feels more significant since the passing of their lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan back in January. It is also the track that marks the beginning of the end of Revival. The last two songs, ‘Castle’ and ‘Arose’ are perhaps the most confessional and heart-breaking tracks, which unveil his feelings about his career, his daughter, his depression, his addiction, his breakdown, his near-death experience, and ultimately his Revival. Combined with his trademark sound effects which bring another dimension to his music, the stark reality of his life is very much at the forefront of this album.

I’ve seen many different reviews of Revival, which has received a mixed response from the critics. However, whether you miss Slim Shady, or old skool Eminem, this album is clever and truthful, and can only really be commended.

Earlier this month, Eminem announced a two-date show in London. Tickets sold out fast (I should know, I managed to get a couple of tickets in the pre-sales which sold old almost immediately too). I hope to bring you a gig review in July.