Tag Archives: Slim Shady

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. 

#RipMGK

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Eminem – Greatest in the World, No Lie, He Might Be

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! …’