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Eminem Became A Parody Of Himself And Everybody's Laughing

Eminem's new album is so bad. How bad is it? So bad that in a year of laughable hip-hop hysterics, Kamikaze has become the lowest hanging fruit. The catch is he's conceivably in on the joke. At least, he desperately wants us to believe he is. Why else would he open Kamikaze with a five-and-a-half-minute diatribe pointing fingers at ... well, everybody: the critics that panned his previous album, December's lackluster Revival; the Lils of rap who've made his penchant for intricate lyricism increasingly obsolete, if not totally passé; the president who continues to be a huge point of contention between Eminem and his Middle America fan base since his appearance on BET last year damning Trump in a freestyle cypher. Even the album cover delivers a subtle wink by replicating the artwork from the Beastie Boys' classic 1986 debut, License To Ill. The tail end of a fighter plane features the letters FU-2 and a covertly spelled SUCKIT on the tail, similar to the original album's backward spelling of EAT ME. The other allusions made by the cover art are subtler. Like the Beasties, Eminem is a remnant of an era when white rappers had to earn the hard-won respect of black audiences before even thinking about crossing over. Or, in this case, crisscrossing over.