Kamikaze (Eminem album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 31, 2018 (2018-08-31)
RecordedJanuary–August 2018
StudioEffigy Studios, Ferndale, Michigan, U.S.
GenreHip hop
Eminem chronology
Music to Be Murdered By
Singles from Kamikaze
  1. "Fall"
    Released: September 4, 2018
  2. "Venom"
    Released: September 21, 2018
  3. "Lucky You"
    Released: November 30, 2018

Kamikaze (stylized as KAMIKAZƎ) is the tenth studio album by American rapper Eminem.[1] The album was released on August 31, 2018, through Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records, Interscope Records and Goliath Records.

The album features guest appearances from Joyner Lucas, Royce da 5'9", Jessie Reyez, and uncredited vocals by Justin Vernon. The album is executively produced by Eminem, credited as Slim Shady, and frequent collaborator Dr. Dre. Production on the album comes from a variety of producers, including Mike Will Made It, Illa da Producer, Ronny J, Cubeatz, Backpack, Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, Tay Keith, Tim Suby, LoneStarr Muzik, Fred Ball, S1, Luke Wild, and Luis Resto.

Recording and release[change | change source]

Eminem had previously mentioned working on a song for Venom[2] and released the album to streaming music service Spotify without any promotion or announcement on August 31, 2018.[1]

The title track had previously been performed at the 2017 BET Awards.[3]

The cover art is inspired by the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill.[4]

Critical reception[change | change source]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Guardian3/5 stars[6]
NME3/5 stars[7]
The Telegraph4/5 stars[8]
The Line of Best Fit7/10[9]

According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has an average critic review score of 67/100 based on four reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5] Aja Romano of Vox called the album Eminem's best in years, citing a return to the rapper's old school sound after deviating with Revival.[10] Ed Power of The Daily Telegraph also compared this album to Revival, calling Kamikaze a "a high-kicking, low-punching riposte", indicating it is a better release.[8] In NME, Dan Stubbs gave the album three out of five stars, saying that Eminem is out of step with trends in hip hop by writing, "there's a sense Eminem struggles with the modern world" but stating that "there are plenty of moments... that remind us of Em's greatness".[7] The Guardian's Alexis Patridis also gave the album three out of five stars and commented on Eminem's generational difference with current hip hop stars, summing up, "...if you're going to listen to a middle-aged man complain that hip-hop isn't as good as it used to be, that it might as well be Eminem."[6] The Line of Best Fit's William Rosebury gave the album 7 of 10 stars and commented that "...Kamikaze is the sound of Eminem with his back against the wall, and this has led to some of his most invigorated writing in years—albeit with some troubling lyrical results. Whether he'll be able to maintain this level of energy into his next project is up for debate; for now though, any inspiration is promising.[9] Similarly, A. D. Amorosi of Variety sees the album as similar to Eminem's earlier work, stating, "[his] voice hasn't sounded quite so cranky, silly, impassioned or enraged since his early days".[11] In The Atlantic, Spencer Kornhaber addresses both comparisons with Revival and current hip hop stars on Kamikaze stating, "Really, though, Eminem is waging a war over aesthetics, and Kamikaze is a better listen than Revival because its concision confirms Eminem's value as an entertainer... Certainly it's refreshing that in a genre especially obsessed with statements of dominance, Eminem doesn't disguise his feelings of irrelevance. He does, however, try to claim his influence."[12]

In a negative review, The Hollywood Reporter's Jonny Coleman considered the album an "epic fail" and described it as "the work of an aging artist trying, and failing, to remain relevant by acting out."[13] In Billboard, Mikelle Street said "Eminem needs to be held accountable for using homophobic slurs (again)," further adding, "the idea that listeners are too "soft" for critiquing the ways in which rappers weaponize the identities of others against them ignores how hip-hop is a reflection and arbiter of culture."[14]

Track listing[change | change source]

Credits adapted from Spotify.[15]

No. TitleProducer(s) Length
1. "The Ringer"  
2. "Greatest"  
  • Mike WiLL Made-It
  • Jeremy "Backpack" Miller
3. "Lucky You" (featuring Joyner Lucas)
4. "Paul (skit)"  Eminem 0:35
5. "Normal"  
  • Illadaproducer
  • S1
  • Lonestarrmuzik
  • Swish Allnet
6. "Em Calls Paul (skit)"  Eminem 0:49
7. "Stepping Stone"  
  • Eminem
  • L. Resto
8. "Not Alike" (featuring Royce da 5'9")
  • Eminem
  • Tay Keith
  • Ronny J
9. "Fall"  
  • Eminem
  • Mike WiLL Made-It
10. "Kamikaze"  
  • Eminem
  • Tim Suby
11. "Nice Guy" (featuring Jessie Reyez)
  • Eminem
  • S1
  • Ball
12. "Good Guy" (featuring Jessie Reyez)
  • Eminem
  • Illadaproducer
13. "Venom"  
  • Eminem
  • L. Resto
Total length:


Personnel[change | change source]

Additional musicians[change | change source]

Reyez looking to the camera
Canadian pop star Jessie Reyez added vocals to two tracks

Technical personnel[change | change source]

  • Swish Allnet – production on "Normal"
  • Fred Ball – production on "Nice Guy"
  • Boi-1da – production on "Lucky You"
  • Cubeatz – production on "Not Alike"
  • Dr. Dre – executive production
  • Illa Da Producer – production on "The Ringer", "Lucky You", "Normal", and "Good Guy"
  • Tay Keith – production on "Not Alike"
  • LoneStarr Muzik – production on "Normal"
  • Mike Will Made It – production on "Greatest" and "Fall", composition on "Greatest", for sampling "Humble"
  • Backpack – production on "Greatest"
  • Luke Wild – production on "Greatest"
  • Luis Resto – production on "Stepping Stone" and "Venom (Music from the Motion Picture)"
  • Ronny J – production on "The Ringer" and "Not Alike"
  • S1 for S.K.P. Inc. – production on "Normal" and "Nice Guy"
  • Jahaan Sweet – production on "Lucky You"
  • Tim Suby – production on "Kamikaze"
  • Gianni Giuliani – production on "Not Alike"

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hughes, William (August 31, 2018). "Eminem Drops a Surprise Album, Raps About Venom". The A. V. Club.
  2. Yoo, Noah (August 30, 2018). "Eminem Teases Venom Soundtrack Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on August 30, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  3. Livsey, Anna (October 11, 2017). "Eminem Unleashes Freestyle Rap Attack on 'Kamikaze, Racist, Orange' Trump". The Guardian.
  4. Nyren, Erin (August 30, 2018). "Eminem Drops New Album Kamikaze". Variety.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Kamikaze by Eminem". Metacritic.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Petridis, Alexis (August 31, 2018). "Eminem: Kamikaze Review – Middle-Aged Gripes Aired with Blazing Skill". The Guardian.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Stubbs, Dan (August 31, 2018). "Eminem – Kamikaze Review". NME.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Power, Ed (August 31, 2018). "Eminem Wages War on Trump and Rival Rappers in Surprise Kamikaze Album". The Daily Telegraph.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rosebury, William (October 11, 2017). "Kamikaze Is the Sound of Eminem with His Back Against the Wall". The Line of Best Fit.
  10. Romano, Aja. "Eminem Just Dropped a Surprise Album. It Might Be One of His Best". Vox.
  11. Amorosi, A. D. (August 31, 2018). "Album Review: Eminem's Kamikaze". Variety.
  12. Kornhaber, Spencer (August 31, 2018). "Eminem Makes a Vicious Strike in the War of Generations". The Atlantic.
  13. Coleman, Jonny (August 31, 2018). "Critic's Notebook: Eminem's Surprise Album Kamikaze Is an Epic Fail". The Hollywood Reporter.
  14. Street, Mikelle (August 31, 2018). "Eminem Needs to Be Held Accountable for Using Homophobic Slurs (Again)". Billboard.
  15. https://open.spotify.com/album/3HNnxK7NgLXbDoxRZxNWiR?si=LyufaNFHRCez4i_hTD_5BA
  16. 16.0 16.1 https://pitchfork.com/news/eminem-drops-surprise-new-album-kamikaze-listen/
  17. 17.0 17.1 Minsker, Evan (August 30, 2018). "Eminem Drops Surprise New Album Kamikaze: Listen". Pitchfork.

Other websites[change | change source]