Eminem is at the top of the Billboard 200… again. To most, this is no surprise. His loyal fan base has continued to support his music, even if he seems irrelevant in today’s rap game. The Detroit rapper is on a historic run as his past eight albums have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Kamikaze debuted last weekend at the number one spot, making it his ninth in a row. As the highest selling rapper of all time, success has been routine throughout his career. No one has been able to stop him through his accomplished 22 year career, and it looks like that trend will continue after listening to his latest release. At this point, the only person getting in his way is himself.
Eminem has received a great amount of backlash following his surprise album, shocking no one. Controversy is another thing he has gotten used to over his career. Kamikaze, released on Aug. 31, seemed like it was made specifically to spark some controversy. His lyrics are harsh, as he cruelly calls out the majority of new rappers, a handful of veteran rappers, and President Trump.
The 13 track album showcases Eminem’s warlike way of rapping. Everything about this album is aggressive. His flow is loud and in your face from beginning to end. His tone is both captivating and destructive. He uses the album as a way to call out anyone and everyone. He’s already gotten responses from a few very brave souls.
Machine Gun Kelly was one of the few to quickly respond with a new single “Rap Devil.” The beef started in 2012 when MGK was tweeting about Eminem’s then 16 year old daughter. Since then, it has been mostly quiet besides MGK saying “I’m my favourite rapper alive since my favourite rapper banned me from Shade 45,” on a freestyle. Eminem finally came back at his former fan: “Now you wanna come and **** with me, huh?/This little **********, he must be feeling himself/He wants to keep up His tough demeanour, so he does a feature/Decides to team up with Nina/But next time you don’t gotta use Tech N9ne if you wanna come at me with a sub-machine gun/And I’m talking to you but you already know who the **** you are, Kelly/I don’t use sublims and sure as **** don’t sneak-diss/But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie.” MGK responded by claiming Eminem is “sober and bored” and calls out his last four albums for being “as bad as your selfie.” Eminem has yet to respond, but the world is waiting anxiously for him to do so.
Another notable name to get a response is Joe Budden, a long time rap veteran. Eminem comes at him on two different occasions on the album. The first being in “The Ringer” and second on “Fall.” Eminem says: “I’m sorry, wait, what’s your talent? Oh, critiquin’ / My talent? Oh, *****, I don’t know who the **** y’all are”. And: “Somebody tell Budden before I snap, he better fasten it/Or have his body baggage zipped/The closest thing he’s had to hits is smacking *****” This is a perfect example of Eminem’s unique, aggressive, style of rap. If you don’t know already, Budden doesn’t take kindly to being dissed. He has gone out of his way multiple times in his career to exploit someone. He quickly responded to Eminem on his podcast show: The Joe Budden Podcast. He said Eminem is only trying to prove he is still relevant and can still rap. He stated he won’t respond with a track because he is “retired.”
Eminem proves time and time again that he can continue to be successful in today’s young rap industry. This is his ninth album to hit number one on the Billboard 200, (all of which debuted at the spot), his second album to do so in the last year; it was this year’s third largest sales week for an album, and it was Eminem’s largest streaming week of his career. It is safe to say Eminem will always be relevant to the rap industry at this point.