Some would say that the last few times Eminem's emerged from his Detroit lab, his output lacked the home-run feeling you expect from one of the world's uncontestedly strongest rappers.
Today's different. "Campaign Speech" is apt to blow your mind as thoroughly as whatever the first time was you realized Eminem was rapping in a whole other universe. Don't waste time: listen to the nearly a cappella eight-minute track that showed up out of nowhere alongside the mention of a new album. Among 80+ references to people, places and things, Em shades Trump and his supporters:
"Consider me a dangerous man / But you should be afraid of this dang candidate / You say Trump don't kiss ass like a puppet? / 'Cause he runs his campaign with his own cash for the funding? / And that's what you wanted? / A fuckin' loose cannon who's blunt with his hand on the button / Who doesn't have to answer to no one? / Great idea!"
Em also vividly lays out his revenge plans against some of the biggest American villains of our times, like police officer/Eric Garner murderer Daniel Pantaleo and Trayvon Martin murderer George Zimmerman. Of the man behind the mass murder at Charleston, S.C.'s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Shady raps, "And send Dylann Roof through the windshield of the Benz / Until he spins like a pinwheel and begins feeling / Like a windmill with a thin bill while his skin's peeling / And skids till he hits a cement pillar."
It's gonna take a minute before we can sort through the Bible's worth of bars and references (David Hasselhoff, Bubba Sparxxx, Colin Kaepernick, Stacey Dash...) presented here, but on a pure technical standpoint, this shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Eminem literally opens, as if in the middle of a barreling monologue juiced up on internal-rhyme steroids:
"Jumped out of the second floor of a record store / With a Treacherous Four cassette and a cassette recorder / In Ecuador with Edward Norton / Witness the metamorphosis of a legend growing / Like an expert swordsman from the Hessian war and / Hence the origin of the Headless Horseman / Born with the endorphins of a pathetic orphan"
That's...not normal, Marshall! He later claims "the name brand is back to reclaim status." It's a colossal bummer that Mathers' favorite slurs and defiantly disturbing point-of-view are still getting play, but—and not that this has ever necessarily made his issues more palatable—he's still as self-aware about it all as he was in 1999. He ends "Campaign Speech" with:
"Startling, violent perhaps / Are things that come to mind as soon as I start spitting rhymes like that / And you aren't really surprised at that / But as far as these lines I rap / And these bars, wouldn't dial it back / If I star-69-ed the track"
Then, after a pause, the conclusion: "Why am I such a dick?"
Eminem's last solo album was November 2013's The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Next, watch an old-school Fuse interview the dude and his D12 crew: