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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #102 : Kamikaze : Eminem






SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #102


What a week it has been! Firstly, I want to say that I'm very proud of our son and daughter for how they handled an exciting moment that happened this weekend. I was at home with the kids and Night Kat Kiz was grocery shopping. We've tried a couple of times to shop with the kids and it's just easier for one parent to go during the busy shopping times. It was lucky that I stayed home with them because the braided flexi hose attached to the toilet burst and sprayed water everywhere. It was so powerful that it stripped some of the paint off the wall and water began coming into the hallway, towards the bedrooms and loungeroom. Our 5 year old son grabbed a towel off the ground to soak up water and protect the carpet, before making sure his 2.5 year old sister was safe in the loungeroom while I turned off the main tap at the front of the house. I was so thankful that they weren't on the toilet when it happened too.


What have we picked for the 102nd record to spin from the R'nR collection? We have chosen a newer album from the Eminem catalogue, one that shows off his fiery side again after copping a beating with his 2017 album, 'Revival'. Yes, it is the follow up album that put the middle finger up at critics and artists alike, called 'Kamikaze'. I remember listening to this album on the train trip home from Westmead and happy to see it drop on Spotify without anyone knowing Eminem was about to drop an album. I saw the album cover and at first I thought that it was a special edition of 'Licence to Ill' by the Beastie Boys. Eminem has paid respect to their debut album cover and made some subtle changes to let you know that Eminem is back and he is taking no prisoners this time. Where 'Revival' failed in the eyes of the critics, 'Kamikaze' goes straight for the jugular and annihilates the competition.


Our kids don't mind hip-hop, particularly the bass and beats. For that reason we will be spinning Eminem's 10th studio album in our loungeroom on the Sherwood turntable and receiver, that has 4 x bookshelf speakers evenly spaced across the loungeroom wall.


Image: Marshall Bruce Mathers III

It's time to #dropthestylus on this 2018 album - 'Kamikaze'! I should have dropped this on Saturday instead without warning like Eminem did with his album.


I feel a bit sore this morning and slightly feel like I've been put through 'THE RINGER'. I stood up yesterday after crouching down for a long time looking for any leaks in the new plumbing work, when I completely forgot about the metal toilet paper holder secured to the wall. I stood up with full force into it, cutting my back and bruising it. I did a decent job at hurting my back and instantly surrounded by my kids saying, "you ok daddy?". Our daughter gave me a really nice hug once I was standing up again but feeling ginger today.


The opening song starts with the sounds of a jet fighter plane whizzing by the speakers and crashing suddenly. You can then hear Eminem composing himself before he unleashes to the beat. He once said that he loves having drama in his life because it gives him the fuel to rap and motivation to create albums. Maybe with 'Revival', he was going through a good patch in his life and the fans felt his album was different to what they expected. They obviously weren't ready for that direction he wanted to take his career and maybe, it inadvertently lit a fire under Eminem to come out with this album. He has really thought about the lyrics on this song and I remember hearing it on that train ride home, nodding along and laughing at some of the lyrics because I couldn't believe he said it. Witty, focused, powerful lyrically and a song that makes me sing along where I can. Eminem obviously has become quicker with his rapping and his use of syllables per second is ridiculous. I first noticed his pace pick up on the 'Recovery' album and was really impressed. He also holds the record for most words used in a hit single - 'Rap God' (Guinness World Records).


The stylus hits the dead wax before moving into the 'GREATEST'. It's a seamless transition into this song, that samples pieces of Kendrick Lamar's 'HUMBLE'. You can get a bit lost in the track because he really does show off his talent at rapping on this track, maybe even better than he does on the opener. Is he the greatest rapper? Well for me, he has always been and on this track he is rapping about other emerging and existing artists saying that Eminem is no longer relevant. Listening to this song surely reminds people of his relevance and not to poke the bear. I like the line where he makes fun of his last album and paying respect to Lamar when he sings, "Revival, didn't go viral" to the same pattern of "my left stroke just went viral". I've been trying to make some more time this week with the school drop off of our son and making him feel brave before walking through the school gates. He is slowly getting more confidence for a Kindy kid, but the other day the school bus pulled up and was very loud as it pulled away from the gutter. This seemed to zap all of his confidence that he had built up unfortunately. We get there a little bit early to get a car spot and listen to some music together, that he picks of course. We talk about activities that he is going to do throughout the day and that I will pick him up and meet him at the school gates in the afternoon.


I feel lucky in those moments, proud and thankful. 'LUCKY YOU' is up next with a feature from Joyner Lucas, who kicks off the song by hyping you up a little bit. The chime style beat offers a slow build up and you feel the bass kick in when he says, "Y'all gotta move, Y'all gotta move, Y'all gotta move". If you have the speakers up loud or headphones on, you'll notice it straight away. He also has a good flow and pace, almost getting up to Eminem level at one point in terms of speed. I suggest that you look up the lyrics to this one and try and sing or mouth out the words with Eminem as he is singing it. I bet you that you'll start laughing because you'll be tripping up like a hurdler hitting every hurdle in the 200m race. I noticed this week that my little girl is growing up so fast. She kept wanting sultanas and pinching everyone's food. I was lying down with her while she fell asleep after story time and I was about to leave before I saw her little hand reach out and she said, "Daddy stay". I can't move now until I hear her little snores.


After the strong start to this album there has to be a moment to break it all up. Some of the best rap/hip-hop albums have the feeling that the album is being played through a radio station with interference or short skits to break up the track listing. It has always worked on Eminem albums from the very beginning and this time they have added an answering machine message from 'PAUL (SKIT)'. Paul tells Eminem that this retaliation could be a bad idea. It moves into the next song called 'NORMAL', which has Eminem singing that he just wants exactly that. He is talking about attracting the wrong relationships and getting into some pretty bad ones. There is some pretty clever lyrics on this song, even if it has Eminem talking about dysfunctional and abusive behaviour - "Really does is make our love for each other grow stronger, She won me over the second she tried to run me over". I don't condone violence, but when listening to an Eminem album, you can't take it too seriously. He has personas that get up to some pretty bad things and it's all apart of his stage performance. I don't know how many he has but you have Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers, Eminem, Evil and even Ken Kaniff from Connecticut - worth looking into to understand the albums the are before this one.


'EM CALLS PAUL (SKIT)' is the response recorded through the answering machine/voicemail. Eminem isn't happy about some of his critics and their comments. You can hear navigation going off in the background like he is driving over to the 'Yahoo Motherf$%r" house to sort him out. Similar to his persona of Slim Shady coming out into the album.


The stylus keeps moving along to the last song on Side A called, 'STEPPING STONE'. On this one, it has Eminem calling out to his mates from his early days, D12 (the dirty dozen). They have drifted a part over the last couple of years and it really does sound like a song offering an olive branch or apology. They all lost a brother from the band and it seems it had a massive toll on their collective friendship. The core guys from the albums, 'Devil's Night (2001) and 'D12 World' (2004) are Proof, Bizarre, Mr Porter, Kuniva, Swifty McVay and Eminem. If you haven't heard those albums then I suggest you add them to your collection or listening lists. I don't think my speakers are big enough to handle the distortion at times on this track and sounded like it was about to blow the tweeters out but now the stylus has hit the dead wax. Time to flip the LP over and drop the stylus on Side B.


Favourite lyric:

"If I don't pull myself from the jaws of defeat and rise to my feet, I don't see why y'all even started with me. I get in beefs, my enemies die, I don't cease fire 'til at least all are deceased. I'm east side, never be caught slippin', now you see why I don't sleep, not even a wink, I don't blink. I don't doze off, I don't even nod to the beats. I don't even close my fuckin' eyes when I sneeze" ~ The Ringer - Side A

I vaguely remember the beef between Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem surrounding his daughter (Hailie Mathers). There are a couple of songs back and forth and this was the song responding back to MGK's comments and song with Tech9. As a father, yeh you could side with Eminem here and say they were disrespectful and also the impact social media has on the younger generations is scary. MGK felt he was being respectful by complimenting Eminem's daughter, Eminem felt he was disrespectful by what exactly was said - fair enough.

'NOT ALIKE' has Royce Da 5'9 as a feature and they have paired up a couple of times over their careers calling themselves 'Bad Meets Evil'. This one has Eminem taunting MGK in the second half of the song and worth checking out the lyrics to piece together the beef between both artists. Once again, probably the best thing that could have happened in order to keep the fire burning within Eminem and easily the best song on Side B. If you want to check out the aftermath - look up 'Rap Devil' by MGK and 'Killshot' by Eminem.


'KAMIKAZE' is the album title track and features references to what is regarded as his worst song - 'FACK'. To be honest, I thought that I'd heard everything he had but because I never purchased or streamed his greatest hits album, I missed that one. Very Slim Shady style of sound and is full on of course, but not one that I feel needs to be added to the collection. This song though has its moments in terms of beat and lyrics. He is comparing his worst song (FACK) in the same way 2017's 'Revival' album was received. Does he care if he succeeds or fails? Nope.


Almost instantly, the stylus moves into the beat and flow of 'FALL'. This one has a great chorus being used and I think is the second best song on Side B. If you know of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, they you might recognise his voice on this one. Eminem can't stand the current state of rap and finds himself coming back to stamp his authority in the rap game. How much longer with he release albums and what will his legacy be like once he hangs up the mic. Apparently Eminem isn't too fond of his 'Encore' and 'Relapse' albums which I was surprised about because I think each album is pretty good.


I'm not too fond of how this album tails off towards the end and maybe that is because of the energy and near perfect songs that have lead off the album. I haven't heard of the next feature artist, Jessie Reyez but on 'NICE GUY' and 'GOOD GUY', it shows her in two different lights. I like GG better than NG and I think it's because of the chorus or opening lyrics being sung. They both bookend to almost become one big song where he questions himself, is he a nice guy or good guy? The music video changes the GG song to start and end with the chorus, which I think works better. I've added both music videos here and here for you to look at and see which version you prefer. I think this was supposed to be the end of the album because in the clips she is burying Eminem in the grave he buried her in first. She ended up crawling out and getting her revenge.


Kind of out of place but I understand why he included 'VENOM' on the album. Its the song that was made for the Venom movie and was successful, being certified 2 x Platinum on the RIAA charts. It reminds me of something back on his Marshall Mathers LP days with the style of vocals being sung and that grittier beat. It comes through the speakers really clear and you can feel the bass vibrating the room slightly. I still haven't seen the movie that this song is for, so I will have to go watch that at some point. Our daughter keeps walking around the house saying "spida man" and talking to him on the play telephone.


Thank you for joining us this week to spin 'Kamikaze' by Eminem as our 102nd Sunday drop. I hope that it makes you go out and explore some of his albums that you might not have heard. It made me look at his more recent albums and it was a fun game trying to list them all out from memory. Give it a go if you can and don't forget the actual first album isn't, 'Slim Shady LP'. I'll be watching some footy this afternoon as they are opening the NRL season with two games in Las Vegas. The stadium looks impressive and I wouldn't expect anything less from a stadium that cost 2.6 billion dollars to build (apparently). It's going to be hard for those teams to come back to play in the stadiums in Australia.


Until our next Spin, be Kind to people giving it a go and be Kind to your Wax!


"Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They're only powerful when you got your back turned" - Eminem

 

YEAR RELEASED

2018

PRODUCED BY

DR DRE & SLIM SHADY

LABEL

SHADY RECORDS / AFTERMATH

PRICE RANGE

$40+AUD

SPEED PLAYED AT

33 1/3 RPM

ALBUM BEFORE

REVIVAL (2017)

ALBUM AFTER

MUSIC TO BE MURDERED BY(2020)

FURTHER LISTENING

THE EMINEM SHOW (2004)

FAVOURITE SONG

NOT ALIKE

RATING OUT OF 5

4.5

WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE

1 X OLIVE GREEN LP, GATEFOLD JACKET WITH LYRIC SHEET NOTINCLUDED


TRACK LISTING

LP / SIDE

SONG

TRACK LENGTH

​SIDE A

THE RINGER

5:37


GREATEST

3:46


LUCKY YOU

4:04


PAUL (SKIT)

0:35


NORMAL

3:42


EM CALLS PAUL (SKIT)

0:49


STEPPING STONE

5:09

SIDE B

NOT ALIKE

4:48


KAMIKAZE

3:36


FALL

4:22


NICE GUY

2:30


GOOD GUY

2:22


VENOM

4:29



Eminem performing live





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