Hip Hop Album Review: Kamikaze (Eminem)

Kamikaze | album cover

I must say, I did not expect to be reviewing another Eminem album this soon after covering Revival. There was a four year gap between Revival and The Marshall Mathers LP 2, and there was a three year gap between The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and Recovery. Yet not even a full year has passed between the release of Revival and Kamikaze.

I had very high praises for Revival and I considered it to be one of his best albums if not THE best, but as usual for me this opinion turned out to be in the minority. Revival was among Eminem’s most panned albums since Relapse and a lot of people seemed to have hated it, and it was clear Em didn’t take it very well.

I don’t blame Em for his reaction given that Revival was meant to show him at his most vulnerable and human in a medium that is known for expecting its participants to be tough and stable. The very first track on Revival was about his fading relevance and his fears that he can’t own up to his prior legacy, and the poor reception of Revival likely didn’t alleviate those fears.

Kamikaze was clearly made in response to the poor reception of Revival and is meant to be a representation of Em going back on every bit of growth he had in the last decade or so and is instead a return to his roots. Instead of taking the high road, he decides he’s going to fire back at everyone who dissed him or talked shit about him regardless of the risks present. The title “Kamikaze” is a highly fitting title considering that this could be just as harmful to himself as it is to everyone else. He’s fully aware of just what could go wrong but has decided to go for it anyway. We will take a look at this track by track. Read more

Music Album Review: Revival (Eminem): Why the Critics are Wrong

Eminem | Revival

Eminem, Marshall Mathers, Slim Shady, or whatever you want to call him, is one of the most fascinating public figures I have ever encountered. I was undoubtedly late to the party in regards to his work as I have only discovered it a few years ago. I have heard bits and pieces of his songs from my brother who I assume, like many others, was a fan of his in the early 2000s but lost interest afterwards. The first song of his I actually listened to was “When I’m Gone,” one of three original songs (and the only good one at that) included on his Greatest Hits album “Curtain Call.

I tend to be drawn to any works of arts with strong emotional power to them much more so than the usual over the top edgy shit Em is known for (although I do still enjoy that stuff) so his singles like “Mockingbird”, “Like Toy Soldiers”, “Cleanin Out My Closet”, “Stan”, “Beautiful”, “Not Afraid”, “The Way I Am” and “Space Bound” were the ones that that I noticed first, but I also was quite fond of the hilarious and clever stuff like “My Name Is”, “The Real Slim Shady”, “Without Me,” “Rap God”, “Berserk”, “Guilty Conscious,” etc. However, it is hardly just the singles that I liked, as I have heard every song from his main albums at least once. Read more