Eminem, one of Detroit’s biggest rappers, built his early career out of being the most controversial emcee on the block. Dating back to “Hi, My Name Is” in 1999, Em, aside from being a more than competent lyricist, has relied on shock value to sell his bars. In less turbulent times, his aesthetic was passable. Fans ate up his tongue-in-cheek lyricism while he spat homophobic bars and generally insensitive quips that made listeners laugh and cringe at the same time.
But over time, the world has become more sensitive and culturally correct. The “faggots” and “retards” that comprised his earliest cuts simply aren’t accepted. Seemingly coinciding with the changing cultural tide, Eminem’s own journey into the soul has been comprised of maturation. Relapse, Recovery, and Revival, three of his albums in the early to late 2000s, chronicled his exploration of self, deterring away from the harsh attempts at controversy. Marshall Mathers 2 hinted at the maturity he was brandishing being inauthentic, but, if anything, his new album Kamikaze confirms it.
On a surface level, Kamikaze is good. There’s the standard Em; throwing shots with clever, borderline genius, oodles of wordplay and a general sense of “I don’t give a fuck” lurking behind each and every bar. But the controversial aspect that made his early albums pop has returned. In light of contemporary cultural sensitivity, it sounds more awful than ever. On “Fall,” the project’s most discussed track, Em raps “Tyler create nothing. “I see why you call yourself a f*****, bitch.” It sounds as harsh reading it as it does when he raps it.
Now throwing casual shots isn’t a big deal; Em has a bone to pick with nearly everyone in hip-hop. But the casual homophobia just doesn’t work like it did at the inception of his career. It wasn’t fine then, it’s even worse now. It just won’t cut it in 2018. There’s no way to slice it.
Listen to Eminem’s latest below.
This Year In Diss Tracks – Ranked
In 2018, there’ve a number of beefs but only two have spawned diss tracks: Pusha T versus Drake and Machine Gun Kelly versus Eminem. The four tracks that have come have been brutal attacks on character of varying levels of severity. It’s time to rank them from worst to best to figure out who had the best assault on character.
4. “Killshot” by Eminem
Eminem’s diss to MGK shows that you can be the better rapper, but you can still drop an abysmal record. Em’s raps were fast and tight, and, admittedly, rhyming “damn gun” with “man bun” is as hilarious as you would think. But it ultimately lacked the heft of the classic disses in history and showed that, when left to his own devices, Eminem just can’t keep up with the new guys.
3. “Duppy Freestyle” by Drake
Drizzy’s diss towards Pusha T came from a stray lyric or two from the latter’s Daytona which he perceived to be directed towards him. In true Drake fashion, he trolls Pusha T for the course of three minutes in a fast, breathless flow that even mentions Pusha T’s wife, Virginia Williams. But Drake would soon find out that he had pressed the wrong one…
2. “Rap Devil” by MGK
No one in history would have believed that Machine Gun Kelly would best Eminem in a battle of diss songs. But he did with “Rap Devil,” a play on Em’s self-proclaimed title, that shared just how far Em has fallen from rap’s grace. Kelly’s allegations rang with a curious sense of disappointment and an overwhelming sense of bravado that made many feel that he won their brief battle.
1. “Story of Adidon” by Pusha T
Pusha T’s response to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” was magical. A moment in time created to the backdrop of ” Story of OJ” by JAY-Z that turned Drake’s world upside down. The revelation of the Canadian crooner hiding a child shook him to his foundation and showed that he wasn’t impenetrable as many believed.
A Year Ago Today, G Herbo Released ‘Humble Beast’
Now, when we hear G Herbo’s music, we think of the careless Swervo. The rapper who could say so much more, but chooses not to to break into new territory due to his fans wishes. But prior to that he was Herbo, the Humble Beast. Understanding who that is and what he represents comes with listening to Humble Beast, Herbo’s debut studio album that released on September 18, 2017.
Herbo’s debut came after years of grinding in the underground circuit. He outlasted the drill era of Chicago and worked to establish himself for years. When he finally came into his own in 2017, he was fully formed, polished, and ready to go. Humble Beast showcases that confidence and declares Herbo as one of the best rappers in the game, period. The ways that he brings classic street rap to the forefront with a collection of dark, foreboding beats invites that feeling of nostalgia that arises when listening to old Dipset.
While many debuts often try to tick every box to create a comprehensive project that showcases the breadth of their abilities, Herbo creates what he wants to create. There’s no faux push for meeting pre-established metrics, just hard-hitting lifestyle rap that covers the breadth of his experiences. Humble Beast’s authenticity is unlike any sub-21 rapper’s catalogs in nearly two decades. It proved that Herb has a story to tell unlike anything we’ve ever heard before.
Five Gems That You May Have Missed This Week
We’re back with another installment of fiery jams straight from the cloud that you may have missed this week. Check them out below:
LouGotCash has a smooth jam on his hands with “Too Turnt.” With a simple, earworm repeating refrain, Lou’s ability to transfix the audience is immediately apparent. New age rap’s hottest rapper Trippie Redd also joins in for an energetic chorus that showcases just why he’s in such high demand.
BigBabyGucci is fast coming up as one of rap’s hottest artists. His new single “Number 1 and Number 2” allows him to reveal why he’s so highly sought after with smooth melodies and earnest flows.
BOOFBOIICY has been up for a very long time. His spacey new jam “Same Shit” is the kind of off-kilter hit that’ll go far in transforming his brand into something legendary. We heard it once and we’re already hooked.
Goon Des Garcones is a new name to the 4ShoMag staff. His new track “New Stimulations” is sonically arresting, brash, and irate. We love it for what it is though – angry entertainment.
This may not sound like something we’d normally cover, but Mike Floss puts his foot into this one. His melodies are bold and fit the production like a snug glove. It’s definitely one of our favorite tracks of 2018.