Eminem has released a surprise album, Kamikaze, just months after his last full-length project, Revival. “Tried not 2 overthink this 1 … enjoy,” he wrote on Twitter announcing the release.
On the first track, The Ringer, the Detroit rapper claims that following his two freestyles last year in which he castigated Donald Trump, the US president “sent the Secret Service to meet in person / To see if I really think of hurtin’ him / Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists”. He also says of Trump: “I empathise with the people this evil serpent sold the dream to that he’s deserted.”
In the first track alone, Eminem dismisses new-school rappers such as Lil Pump, Lil Xan and Lil Yachty, attacks the media over poor reviews of Revival, and makes reference to vice president Mike Pence’s scrotum. Other rap peers who receive his ire across the album include Tyler, the Creator (“I see why you called yourself a faggot, bitch”), Machine Gun Kelly and Joe Budden.
Another track, Stepping Stone, addresses the death of his former D12 bandmate Proof and the subsequent dissolution of the group, while Not Alike makes reference to the Weinstein scandal: “I Harvey Weinstein, a bathrobe hanging open / My code name is groper, I roleplay with lotion / I fucked on the world then I throw away the Trojan.”
Kamikaze is the latest release in a prolific period for the rapper, who until Revival had not released an album since 2013. While generating mixed reviews, Revival went to No 1 in the US and UK, while Eminem recently performed a series of UK stadium shows.
Since its release he has also performed some high-profile, technically impressive guest verses for Nicki Minaj and Royce Da 5’9. The latter also appears on Kamikaze, along with Justin Vernon (AKA Bon Iver), rapper Joyner Lucas and Canadian R&B singer Jessie Reyez. The album was executive-produced by longtime collaborator Dr Dre. One track, Venom, is taken from the soundtrack of the forthcoming Marvel movie of the same name.