On his fiery new surprise album, Kamikaze, Eminem has a whole list of grievances to air out, chief among them the critics who held that his last effort, Revival, fell short of expectations on arrival last year.
With nearly a year to stew, Em has come out of the gate as invigorated as he’s ever been, but as on his last album and its controversial lead-up, reserves some of his most vitriolic commentary for the man in the Oval Office. He ruffled more than a few feathers with his angrily-worded BET Freestyle that kicked off his last album’s promotional cycle, but it looks like he’s far from finished taking Donald Trump to task — even though it cost him a visit from the POTUS’ protection detail.
On the album’s opening track, “The Ringer,” Eminem reels off a five-minute diatribe of defenses against some of the criticism his last album received, but shifts courses towards the end of the song to revisit some of his most punishing rhymes against Donald Trump, which caused a few of Em’s fans no small amount of consternation about their fanship.
“I feel like a beast of burden
That line in the sand, was it even worth it
‘Cause the way I see people turnin’
Makin’ it seem worthless, it’s starting to defeat the purpose…
But I think it’s workin’,
These verses are making him a wee bit nervous
He’s too scurred to answer me with words, ’cause
He knows that he would lyrically get murdered
But I know at least he’s heard it
‘Cause Agent Orange just 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”
After airing that out, Em promptly returns to retaliating lyrically against the people he declares his worst nemeses: Journalists. You’d think he’d be a little more concerned about the guy with a whole protection detail assigned to him who apparently feels justified in using them to try to bully a musical artist into silence over critical statements but in 2018, it seems everybody is on edge. Hopefully, Em’s exaggerating about that Secret Service claim but if not, here’s hoping he stays out of trouble and continues to use his platform to call for needed soul-searching from his and Trump’s shared supporters.
Kamikaze is out now via Shady/Aftermath/Interscope. Get it here.