It’s been given mixed reviews, with some loving it and some hating it, but the bottom line is that Kamikaze has now sold more than 410,000 album-equivalent units with more than 250,000 of those numbers representing pure album sales.
With numbers like that, it goes without saying that Eminem’s newest album went straight to the top of Billboard’s top 200. What it doesn’t convey is that this marks Eminem’s ninth time doing so. According to YourEDM, it’s a feat no other artist has historically ever accomplished.
Eminem probably would have managed to land definitively in the top spot regardless of the album’s subject-matter, given that even his lowest-selling records achieved such a status. But Kamikaze was destined to be an object of fan curiosity when it began making headlines last Friday for being unapologetically harsh toward a number of different musicians, celebrities, and political figures.
Eminem took on rappers Machine Gun Kelly, Joe Budden, Drake, Tyler the Creator, Die Antwoord, and a barrage of other MCs. He also blasted music critics for writing what he felt were subpar reviews of his last album, Revival. He took Donald Trump to task referring to the president as “agent orange,” and named dropped vice president Mike Pence as well, in the song, “The Ringer.”
Naturally, a number of artists have already answered back, including MGK, Joe Budden, and Die Antwoord. Die Antwoord were particularly vicious when Ninja, one half of the group, dropped a freestyle lambasting the rapper and mocking Eminem’s commitment to sobriety, saying “you used to rap better on drugs.”
Die Antwoord responds to Eminem pic.twitter.com/xWUS373qCk
— Die Antwoord (@DieAntwoord) September 5, 2018
Die Antwoord’s feud with Eminem goes back to his reported mispronunciation of the name of the group’s name in 2017 on Revival.
Since the numerous verbal takedowns, even Eminem’s detractors have felt compelled to check out the album, if for no other reason than to see what was said about one of their favorite artists. While a number of music critics accused Eminem of being irrelevant and bitter, he cemented his status as a prominent hip-hop icon and hit album maker, 20 years into his music career.
Eminem has now dethroned Led Zepplin and ABBA as the artist with the most consecutive number one albums.
While most albums would see rapid decline after the first week of sales, it’s unpredictable what may happen next, as music fans are waiting with bated breath to respond to those who have rebuked Eminem’s lyrical attacks.
Eminem has not commented on what response he has planned, if any, but sources close to the rapper indicate that something is coming.