Eminem's surprise release Kamikaze is easily the best album he's made since 2002, when he essentially peaked with The Eminem Show.

It followed a massively successful run of releases, including the Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers LPs, but since then the rapper has struggled to stay relevant in a world becoming increasingly woke, in which suddenly his shock-value rhymes weren't cutting it anymore.

So the big question here is: why is he still doing it 16 years on?

*Warning: Explicit language

Between rapping about domestic violence (Normal, Nice Guy), killing critics (Paul (Skit)) and calling Tyler the Creator a homophobic slur (The Fall), it's clear Em is still just spitting into the microphone for attention - that's what this whole album is; a desperate cry of "please don't forget me!"

And here's the kicker, I don't want to.


I think a lot of us who grew up on his style of hip-hop are really rooting for him to pull himself together, but ignore the social politics and Eminem has still failed to deliver.

Kamikaze is 45 minutes of a grown, 45-year-old man blaming critics, haters and other rappers - everyone but himself - for his failure to rekindle that fire from 2002.

He's become the musical equivalent of an old man wearing a MAGA hat, yelling "get off my lawn" while writing letters to the editor about the millennials and "PC snowflakes".

Thematically, it's just a yawn, which is such a shame because Kamikaze sounds amazing.

*Warning: Explicit language

Eminem has proven why he is one of the greatest rappers in history with technically flawless flows and cheeky wordplay on The Ringer and Greatest, and a thrilling command of cadence on the likes of Kamikaze and Not Alike.

He's dropped all the pretence and guest features of Revival and gone back to Shady basics, even throwing his trademark comedic asides and Paul Rosenberg skits back in the mix.

He's just not saying much and what he is saying smacks of ignorance and someone reaching for relevance in a world he's hellbent on rejecting. It's not fun, informative, challenging or entertaining, it's just a lot of technical skill and angry fist-shaking.

Eminem, Kamikaze

Artist: Eminem
Album: Kamikaze
Label: Universal Music
Verdict: Eminem sounds better than ever, but is it enough?