Today, I’m starting a new series of articles in which I’ll pick a Song of the Day and attempt to break it down as best as I can.
I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been listening to the same artists over and over, and only opening up my recently played playlists on Spotify. I wanted to start this series so that I can always be listening to new music, finding new artists, and hopefully, introducing others to new, good music.
To start things off, I’ve chosen the first track from Eminem’s 2018 album “Kamikaze”. I know, I know, I’m a bit late. Eminem released “Kamikaze” on August 31st with no prior announcement of the album’s release. And for some reason, it’s taken me a long time to get around to listening to it. But I’ve finally caught up. I’d like to eventually get around to a full album review, but for now we’ll focus on the first track, “The Ringer”.
In “The Ringer”, Eminem makes it clear from the beginning that he’s going to give the people what they want. After the more contemplative “Revival” was ill-received, Eminem launches back with a full tirade of the brutal wise-cracking, quick-witted lyrics that catapulted him to fame.
Right off the bat, Eminem fires shots at critics who panned his last album. In the few bras below, he targets YouTube reviewers and music critics without mentioning any names.
“You mention me, millions of views, attention in news / I mention you, lose-lose for me, win-win for you / Billions of views, your ten cents are two / Skim through the music to give s*** reviews / To get clicks, but b****, you just lit the fuse”.
A bit later, Em reserves a couple bars to take shots at mumble rappers. “I heard you wanna rumble like an empty stomach / I heard your mumblin’ but it’s jumbled in mumbo-jumbo / The era that I’m from will pummel you / That’s what it’s comin’ to”.
Finally, because I teased it, here’s a few lines where Eminem targets Trump.
“These verses are makin’ him a wee bit nervous / And he’s too scurred to answer me with words / ‘Cause he knows that he will 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”.
This claim has been neither affirmed or denied by the U.S. Secret Service. But, given what we’ve observed so far of our president’s thin skin, it doesn’t sound too unlikely.
It’s clear that the reaction from “Revival” lit a fire under Eminem, and brought back a version we’re all much more familiar with. Gone are the pop-fused songs accused of trying to just sell albums.
This is Eminem’s return to hip-hop, and it’s good to have him back.