After a four year wait in between “The Marshall Mathers LP2” and “Revival”, fans were surprised to see Eminem drop “Kamikaze” only eight months after his ninth studio album, “Revival”.
“Revival” was released on December 15, 2017 with minimal success. The album was full of high profile artist features, including P!nk, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, X Ambassadors, Alicia Keys, Kehlani, Skylar Grey and PHRESHER.
“Revival”, the ending to a decade long trilogy of albums including “Relapse” and “Recovery”, seemed to mark the end of an era for Eminem and the beginning of a never before seen Eminem.
“Revival” seemed to birth an Eminem more concerned with righting wrongs, which ran a gamut from huge political issues to personal apologies. Songs such as “Untouchable”, “Like Home” featuring Alicia Keys and “Tragic Endings” featuring Skylar Grey broach police brutality, white privilege, sexism, terrorism and Donald Trump’s presidency. Songs such as “River” which features Ed Sheeran, “Castle”, “Bad Husband” which features X Ambassadors and “Need Me” which features P!nk, comment on personal relationships and Eminem’s failures. Fans see a new side of Eminem as he opens up to his own failings.
“Chloraseptic” featuring PHRESHER, “Heat”, “Remind Me” and “Framed” give fans a taste of the “old” Eminem, with “Framed” resembling “Bad Guy” and the unapologetic Eminem from “The Marshall Mathers LP2”.
In its first week, “Revival” sold approximately 267,000 albums, according to Complex.com. These are the lowest album sale num,bers Eminem has experienced to date, with “The Slim Shady LP” released in 1999 selling approximately 283,000 copies in the album’s first week.
Even though “Revival” featured many high profile artists, it failed to impress most fans. However, “Revival” seemed to mark a growth in maturity for Eminem and may have been Eminem’s most mature and thought out album to date.
Though most fans and critics seemed disappointed in the lack of ferocity and anger that Eminem is known to display, “Revival” seems to have been his most politically charged album to date.
There have been many speculations about why “Revival” seemed to fail. Though “Revival” became Eminem’s eighth consecutive album to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, the album sales remained underwhelming. In comparison, Eminem’s previous album “The Marshall Mathers LP2” sold approximately 779,000 units according to Complex.com.
Many believed that the failure of “Revival” was due to the album’s leak two days prior to the release date; with others believing the album was too politically charged at a time when there was already too much tension politically.
Eminem’s political stance and willingness to break down barriers and ruffle feathers should come as no surprise to critics or fans. Alas, his personal growth from a rapper out for blood to a rapper that wants to incite change failed to make a lasting impression on his fan base.
Before the release of “Kamikaze”, fans and critics from early in his career resorted to saying that Eminem was old and had to rely on past hits to help his career.
Eminem dropped “Kamikaze” with no warning on Aug. 31. Fans were shocked after Eminem rapped in “Arose”, “I’ll put out this album then I’m done with it, one hundred percent finished, fed up with it, I’m hanging it up, f*** it”.
“Kamikaze” features lower profile artists, in comparison to his last album, such as Jessie Reyez, Royce da 5’9” and Joyner Lucas.
“Kamikaze” transports fans back to the Eminem from the early 2000’s, hungry for blood but uses beats and a flow that resembles current rappers in an effort to parody new rap music.
Songs such as “Not Alike” parodies “Bad and Boujee” by Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert. In “Not Alike” Eminem allegedly calls out rappers such as Migos who rap about violence and gangs without backing it up. In a time where rappers are calling each other out and dissing each other, Eminem comes in with “Not Alike” to eliminate any speculation about his position on the “Rap God” throne.
Songs featuring Jessie Reyez, “Good Guy” and “Nice Guy”, leave fans underwhelmed upon first listen. The punchlines seem lack luster and unimpressive.
“The Ringer” calls out rappers such as Machine Gun Kelly, Iggy Azalea, Lil Pump, Lil Xan, Lil Yachty and Lil Wayne. Eminem raps, “you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow” on “The Ringer” as he states his annoyance with the same beat and flow rappers seem to take on in order to sell albums. Eminem calls current rappers out for being unoriginal.
Eminem also calls rappers out for using ghostwriters, rapping, “you got a couple of ghostwriters” on “Lucky You” featuring Joyner Lucas.
Songs such as “Kamikaze”, “Fall”, “Stepping Stone” and “Greatest” can barely contain Eminem’s anger and aggression as they each address the failure of his previous album, “Revival”.
“Kamikaze” was projected to sell 360,000 units in its first week by Billboard.com. “Revival” earned Eminem as the first artist to earn eight consecutive No. 1 albums and “Kamikaze” earned Eminem the title as the first artist to earn nine consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart.