From the very first track, “The Ringer” — which opens with a brutal litany of rap disses before seamlessly shifting to the rapper’s well-established anti-Trump rage — we get Eminem at his self-aggrandizing, self-deprecating, dizzyingly self-assured best. Along with savaging a bunch of people (“Lil Pump, Lil Xan, imitate Lil Wayne,”) he devotes a whole verse to professing himself mystified by recent rap trends, à la “Gucci Gang,” with their “subpar bars” and “choppy flow.”
Em makes the point again and again that he’ll never stint us of a good rhyme or a well-crafted run-on lyric. In stellar tracks like “Lucky You” (his utterly fire collab with Joyner), “Not Alike,” and “Fall,” he asserts his confidence that he still has a place in rap — and that rap desperately needs him.
He does this musically, especially through the use of trap beats (“Not Alike”) and musical references to other artists. By using duplicated clips and structural mimicry, he summons musical memories of Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Migos to ironically illustrate how overly copied their work has become, and how lazy it is to simply lay down a weak verse over someone else’s song structure.
Lyrically, so many people get dissed on Kamikaze that it’s easier to talk about who doesn’t. Naturally, Em’s longtime mentor Dr. Dre, who co-produced, is safe, as are his album collaborators. But “if you ain’t Joyner, Kendrick or [J.] Cole or Sean then you’re a goner,” he promises. By the time the album ends, pretty much everyone is dead:
Eminem just dissed:
Tommy from Rugrats
Tyler, The Creator
My moms spaghetti
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