Hear Eminem's Surprise Album 'Kamikaze' - Rolling Stone
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Hear Eminem’s Surprise Album ‘Kamikaze’

Rapper’s new 13-song LP includes production from Mike Will Made-It and features from Jessie Reyez, Royce da 5’9″ and Joyner Lucas

Eminem unveiled a surprise album, Kamikaze, at midnight on Thursday. The LP includes a song from the Venom soundtrack, which he teased on Twitter prior to Kamikaze‘s release.

A surprise release is a first for Eminem, who has rarely bent to the changing whims of the music industry over his 20-year career. If the release strategy was new, though, the Kamikaze cover pays homage to a hip-hop classic, the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill album.

In addition, the content of Kamikaze appears to be vintage Eminem, prizing provocation over all else. In a skit — remember those? — featuring his longtime manager (and current CEO of Def Jam Recordings) Paul Rosenberg, Eminem is berated via voicemail: “Are you really going to reply to everybody who you don’t like what they have to say?” Rosenberg says. “I don’t know if that’s the best idea.”

That sentiment is echoed by the album’s copy advertising on Apple Music: “Shady punches back, and he’s naming names.” Sometimes that’s true — he goes after Die Antwoord on “Greatest” — but more often Eminem keeps his references general, taking aim at young rappers who “put out 10 million albums” and use “a couple of ghostwriters.”

In addition to dissing youngsters, Eminem appears very concerned about the reaction to his last album, 2017’s critically panned Revival. “How do I say this?” he raps on “Fall.” “Last year didn’t work out too well for me.” He’s more explicit on “Lucky You”: “I took an L when I dropped my last album/ It hurt me like hell but I’m back on these rappers.”

Kamikaze is executive-produced by Eminem’s longtime collaborator Dr. Dre. Mike Will Made-It is also credited on several tracks, along with Illadaproducer. Several of the credits will be familiar to anyone who listened to Drake’s Scorpion — Memphis producer Tay Keith (Drake’s “Nonstop”) makes an appearance here, as does Boi-1da (Drake’s “8 Out of 10″). Features come from another longtime Eminem foil, Royce da 5’9”, plus rising rapper Joyner Lucas and the young singer Jessie Reyez. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Kendrick Lamar are credited as writers on Kamikaze; “Greatest” features an interpolation of Lamar’s “Humble.”

Kamikaze Track List

1. “The Ringer”
2. “Greatest”
3. “Lucky You” featuring Joyce Lucas
4. “Paul – Skit”
5. “Normal”
6. “Em Calls Paul – Skit”
7. “Stepping Stone”
8. “Not Alike” featuring Royce 5’9″
9. “Fall”
10. “Kamikaze”
11. “Nice Guy” featuring Jessie Reyez
12. “Good Guy” featuring Jessie Reyez
13. “Venom” from the Motion Picture


In This Article: Eminem, Hip-Hop


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