Without warning, Eminem has released his 10th full-length album. Kamikaze is the rapper’s first release since 2017’s Revival and Eminem did it as low key as possible, foregoing the promotional runs and big budget first singles he is known for and instead following the current trend of surprise releases, as reported by Variety.
When fans logged on to their streaming services after midnight on the East Coast, they had an unexpected Eminem album to dig into, and upon delving into Kamikaze‘s 13 tracks, it is very clear that the 45-year-old rapper still has a lot to say.
With an album cover that bears such a resemblance to the Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill that it has to be intentional, with the added Eminem-style humor of putting “FU-2” on the tail marker, Kamikaze run time of 45 minutes with limited features gives Eminem the spotlight for the release. The only other voices you hear on the album are Joyner Lucas, Royce Da 5’9″, Jessie Reyez, and Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s tour manager.
Dr. Dre returns to continue the almost two decades that the pair has worked together, serving as the album’s co-executive producer along with Eminem himself. The other producers that have contributed to Kamikaze are Mike Will Made It, Illadaproducer, Ronny J, Jeremy “Backpack” Miller, Boi-1da & Jahaan Sweet, Tay Keith, Tim Suby, Fred Ball and S1 for S.K.P. Inc.
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) August 31, 2018
The purpose of the album is made abundantly clear upon listening to the album’s two skits. In the form of two voicemails left by Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg, Rosenberg gives the mission statement for Kamikaze.
“Are you really going just to deride everybody who, you don’t like what they have to say about you or the stuff you’re working on? I don’t know if that’s really a great idea, it’s like what’s next, ‘Kamikaze 2,’ the album where you reply to everybody who didn’t like the album that you made replying to everybody that didn’t like the previous album? It’s a slippery slope, I don’t know if it’s really a good idea.”
That’s exactly where Kamikaze goes, taking aim at the press who panned Revival and the Grammy Awards that ignored it, as well as the pair who have borne the brunt of the majority of the rappers recent attacks, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. He also decries the state of modern hip-hop and expresses disappointment at the unoriginality and trendiness of today’s rap stars.
The album also features “Venom”, a track that will be heavily featured in the forthcoming Tom Hardy film bearing the same name.
Kamikaze can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, and other digital providers.