Roughly two weeks ago, Eminem shocked the world by releasing the unannounced Kamikaze, his 10th studio album and first since the release of his less than popular, Revival. Whether you’re a fan or not, Kamikaze’s global sales speak for themselves and by hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart last week, it only furthered the debate that Eminem is and always will be one of the greatest rappers of all time.
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If you have yet to listen to the album, (which I highly recommend) Eminem took aim at everyone in the rap game, calling out Charlamagne Tha God, Joe Budden, MGK, Tyler The Creator, and all the mumble rappers. From time to time, rappers release diss tracks and hate on each other in the news, but when Em has you in his scope, as Ja Rule learned, your time’s up! Which brings me to Machine Gun Kelly. A few days after the release of Kamikaze, MGK clapped back at Em with the release of Rap Devil, and as much as it pains me to say, both the track and video were legit! For those that have yet to hear the track, here’s a sample:
“The big bad bully of the rap game can’t take a f—–g joke/Oh you want some f—–g smoke (What?)/But not literally, you’ll choke/Yeah I’ll acknowledge you’re the GOAT/But I’m the Gunner b—-h, I got you in the scope (Brra)/Don’t have a heart attack now (No)/Somebody help your mans up (Help)/Knees weak of old age/The real Slim Shady can’t stand up,”
During part 1 of his exclusive interview with Sway, Eminem discussed the surprise release of Kamikaze, the state of the industry, and his aforementioned beef with MGK.
Although I initially watched the interview to hear Em’s response to MGK, I found myself more intrigued by his commentary on the climate of the music industry.
“I felt like the way the climate is right now if you gave people enough time [to say]…’man, he’d better have a song like this or I ain’t f—–g with it. If you don’t have a song like this I aint f—–g with it. He better not be rapping like this. He better not be rapping about this, or I’m not going to f–k with it.”
Near the end of the interview, Sway asked Em about MGK, and although he’ll likely go into more detail during part 2, Em’s response was quite clear.
“You know you go down a f—–g wormhole of YouTube and whatever, right? So I see, ‘Machine Gun Kelly talks about Eminem’s daughter’ or whatever, right? So I’m like, ‘What the f–k?’ I click on it. Then he starts doing a press run, basically, about Hailie. I’m like, ‘What the f–k? Yo, my man better chill, right?’ So, that’s not why I dissed him. The reason I dissed him is actually a lot more petty than that. Now I’m in this f—n’ weird thing, because I’m like, ‘I gotta answer this motherf—r.”
In my opinion, Kamikaze was Eminem’s way of reminding everyone that Slim Shady is back and this time around, he’s putting everyone in the game on notice! MGK was the first to take the bait and while I did enjoy it, I’m looking forward to what Shady has up his sleeve next.
So, where does Em rank on your list of greatest rappers of all time? Did the release of Kamikaze cause you to re-think that ranking?
The Greatest Rappers Of All Time
15. Lauryn Hill
AKA: L Boogie Region: East Coast Resume: The Score (The Fugees) (1996) Lauryn Hill may be most well known for her multi-platinum 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill but her early work with Fugees already had her in contention for the best female rapper of all time. Hailing from South Orange, New Jersey, Hill flirted with acting in the early 90s and landed roles on the TV show As the World Turns and the 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit where she showcased her soulful singing skills. She joined the Fugees shortly after and released the albums Blunted on Reality in 1994 and the Grammy Award-winning The Score in 1996. Lauryn’s ability to sing beautifully, combined with a steady flow of sharply delivered rhymes, makes her a talent the likes of which we’ve never seen before or since. Her wide array of skills are perhaps best displayed with her work on the track “Ready Or Not” where she is not only responsible for one of the 90s most memorable hooks, but also raps with the distinctive flow that has her “defecating on the microphone.” If not for her public breakdown in the late 90s and a subsequent prison stint, Lauryn Hill would most likely have been on track to become the greatest selling female artist of all time.