For years, hip hop has gone down hill. Personally, I believe out of all of the genres it has become the worst amongst pop, rock, country, and everything else but has 2018 seen the rise of what hip hop used to be? Back in the 90s and early 2000s names like Ice Cube and Eminem were huge and to this day those names haven’t lost their wow power. Since the end of 2017 Eminem has made a comeback and solidified his position among hip hop royalty, fondly known by his fans as the “Rap God” or the GOAT (greatest of all time). His album like Revival and most recently Kamikaze on top of the very public beef with MGK has put a much needed breath of life into the rap industry. Not only Em but look at Ice Cube. Ice Cube in the past few years has mostly focused his career in the movie industry but as most people know he got his start in what most people know as the most dangerous music group in the world N.W.A and then he moved onto a solo music career. Ice Cube recently dropped a single called “Arrest the President,” which criticizes President Trump. We’re seeing some of these older rappers making a comeback and it’s an exhilarating feeling for hip hop heads who love this industry. I’m excited for hip hop and the potential that it has now to grow.
Diss tracks have a long drawn out history in the hip hop community. Everyone who is a hip hop fan has their favorite. Right now I could name a few diss tracks that are probably in most people’s top 5. Ice Cube (No Vaseline), Tupac (Hit em Up), Nas (Ether), and I could probably name about a dozen Eminem diss tracks. Speaking of Eminem he’s found himself once again in the middle of a hip hop beef with Machine Gun Kelly aka MGK. This has been an intriguing and interesting battle because no one and I mean NO ONE ever chooses to verbally spar with Eminem in a diss track. It just doesn’t happen. The actual diss track’s back and forth started when Eminem released his surprise album Kamikaze. Eminem made one slight reference/diss to MGK in one line but MGK decided to come at Eminem in a whole diss song. I listened to it, amd I can’t lie that it eventually grew on me but I’m also a life long Eminem fan forever and always. As it started to seem that Eminem wasn’t going to fire back after 2 weeks had passed I think everyone started to assume that MGK had won. MGK threw some shots at Em that did question his character. As a fan I started to question his character, but he FINALLY came back with a diss song called Killshot. Eminem basically put MGK in his place. There was a slight satisfaction for me. If you had any doubt that Em had lost his touch then you were greatly mistaken. I read comments online and one thing that I can agree with wholeheartedly is that Em is bringing real music back. I think that’s his main mission. Eminem has made it no secret that he hates these mumble rappers that are getting more clout these days than real artists. Something definitely needs to change within the music industry. I don’t even see how some of these rappers got a record deal but that’s for another discussion. I’m definitely curious to see if MGK fires back with another diss track, but what I get from Em’s diss track and his recent interview with radio personality Sway he’s done with MGK and has no time for little boys.
Now listening to this new album, Kamikaze, it is reminiscent of the old Eminem but I also believe it’s still the mature Eminem, but he’s gone back to his roots. Even looking at the cover of the album you can tell that he’s paying homage to the Beastie Boys first album License to Ill, and Eminem has stated that the Beastie Boys were one of his earliest influences.
Surprise! What a major surprise we have here. I’m going through my day without a care in the world, going about my business and then all of a sudden I see news and Facebook posts about these new songs from Eminem’s NEW album, an album that no one knew was coming. It honestly came like a thief in the night…no promoting, no ads, and apparently no noise whatsoever….out of the blue KABOOM! Em hit us with a bomb, but definitely in a good way. I’ve listened to the album and you can’t help but compare it to Eminem’s previous album, Revival, that came out last December. I love Em but I’m not afraid to say as an Eminem that album was not his greatest. I tried to like a few of those songs, but none of those songs on the Revival album I could really appreciate. I believe as an Eminem fan that I put Em on this pedestal, and I believe other Eminem fans feel the same way. We just expect better from Em, and as one of the YouTube channels that I follow said, “Revival was basically corny pop sh*t.” Now I like pop music don’t get me wrong but when putting it in the same league as Eminem it’s just not right. Now listening to this new album, Kamikaze, it is reminiscent of the old Eminem but I also believe it’s still the mature Eminem, but he’s gone back to his roots. Even looking at the cover of the album you can tell that he’s paying homage to the Beastie Boys first album License to Ill, and Eminem has stated that the Beastie Boys were one of his earliest influences. To me Revival had too many pop artists features. Ok, I love Ed Sheeran and I like Beyoncé but he doesn’t need them on their albums. I wholeheartedly understand that artists need to step out of the norm and experiment with different types of artists, but his last album just didn’t hit the mark. When I look at the track list to Kamikaze versus Revival you can see that there aren’t a lot of features at all. There are a couple like Joyner Lucas and Royce da 5’9, but they’re hip hop artists which is the difference. To me that’s a reflection of the old Eminem as well. When he first came out he didn’t have too many artists featured in his song except for maybe Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, D12 but again ALL HIP HOP ARTISTS. Bottom line is that Eminem did it right this time and the fact that he dropped this album with no notice, no promotions, NOTHING, and yet people are still talking about it that takes talent. That’s why Em is considered the GOAT!
My emphatic answer is YES! For me art and politics go hand in hand. Art is a platform in which politics can stand and be understood. In an earlier post I wrote about the rise and fall of my beloved Eminem after his freestyle about Trump at the BET Awards. Em is still getting backlash from that. People are saying that Eminem needs to stay out of politics and stick with music and these comments are not just said about Eminem but also about other celebrities who decide to use their voice and status to bring light to certain issues that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. People who make these commenta are quite frankly ignorant. For one, Trump isn’t the first president that Em went ham on. Does no one remember his deliberate attack against former president George W. Bush in his song “Mosh”? In my opinion music has always been political. I can think of many artists/musicians who have written songs with a political message. I think of rap groups like N.W.A and Public Enemy and artists like Pink and there are so many others. I just don’t understand people who think that celebrities shouldn’t use their platform that they have to make a difference. I believe any form of art can be political you just have to know how to use your voice.
Everyone is familiar with Eminem’s controversial freestyle rant about Donald Trump at the BET Hip Hop Awards a couple of months ago. His biggest fans were by his side all the way, appreciating his lyrical genius and his nerve to be so controverisal, although long time fans like myself know that Eminem has no problem with controversy and throwing every celebrity under the bus. Then of course there’s the other end of the spectrum filled with people who are more than likely Trump supporters who were outraged and making comments that summed up to this is Eminem’s desperate attempt to make himself relevant again. I’m not here to talk about Eminem’s freestyle about Trump. I want to shine a light on Eminem’s career and his (successful?) comeback. I’ve been an Eminem fan ever since I was a little girl. I’m a HUGE fan. His music was always so raw and real and mind blowing. A lot of his lyrics made you laugh or drop your mouth open because you couldn’t believe he just said that. He’s also probably been one of the most controversial rappers of our time. Gay and women rights groups have come up against Eminem in the past for promoting hate speech and still through it all I and everyone of his fans have supported him and his music because we feel like we know what he’s about. Now it’s 2017 and Eminem has a new album called “Revival” coming out in about a week. If I’m not mistaken this is his first album in a couple of years and I hate to be one of those fans, but judging by the songs that I have heard already I want the old Eminem back. I always said that true fans should support Eminem because even if the Slim Shady persona is dead Eminem has matured so we can’t expect the craziness like when Em first started out. I ask this though, to be a true fan do you have to like every song? I don’t think so. I think as fans we should demand quality from our favorite artists. We don’t have to kiss their butts. If we don’t like the direction an artist is going or the music he or she is putting out then we have the right to our opinion and I have to say that I am not feeling Eminem right now as much as it pains me to say that. I don’t like his new song with Beyoncé even though I fully understand the message of the song. I just can’t get into it and that’s alright. Hopefully, there are some songs on this new album that I can get into.
2. Lukas Graham
3. Maroon 5
4. Twenty One Pilots