Music criticism has a purpose. That is the moral of this story.
Eminem recently released Revival, probably the most universally hated album of this decade. Everyone already knew they were going to hate it after the release Walk On Water and the reveal of the album art and track listing. With Revival, Eminem tried to do conscious rap, and he failed miserably. The only time conscious rap worked for him was Campaign Speech.
So for the first time, everybody wanted a rapper to stop making conscious rap and go back to gangsta rap. Eminem listened. He may have decided to destroy critics like Joe Budden and Anthony Fantano in his verse, but his rebuttal was not in the form of a bad ballad, but instead in the form of a scathing 2 minute verse. This is Eminem’s Control verse (Kendrick Lamar had a verse on the song Control that was talked about long after it’s release). It is lyrically his best work since the Marshall Mathers LP.
The real Slim Shady has stood up. Here’s an analysis of the verse (I had to heavily edit the lyrics and completely remove the Osama Bin Laden bit):
Rap mature, why can’t you be like Macklemore? Huh?
This bit is clearly a reference to the main criticism he has received over the year when he was making more offensive and angry rap.
Why you always gotta —– a ——?
It’s likely the psychiatric ward’s a last resort
Something’s gotta give, that’s for sure
Yet you keep comin’ back for more
Not as raw as I was, “‘Walk on Water’ sucks”
The reaction to Walk On water, Revival’s first single was less than stellar.
—–, —- my —-
Y’all saw the tracklist and had a fit ‘fore you heard it
Music critic Anthony Fantano of TheNeedleDrop made a video on the track listing of the album before he had heard it on his second channel Fantano.
So you formed your verdict
This refers to how a lot of people (including me) were expecting the album to bad and so we complained about it even though we didn’t actually listen to the whole thing.
While you sat with your arms crossed
Did your little reaction videos and talked over songs
This is another refrence to Anthony Fantano, who uncharacteristically played some of the songs from the album in the review just to show how bad it was.
Nah, dog, y’all sayin’ I lost it, your ——- marbles are gone
But nowadays, every flow, every cadence sounds the same
He’s criticising the current state of rap.
Brain’s a powder keg, I draw inspiration outta hate
Real pain in the paper, I don’t trace
But if I look strange and out of place
It’s ’cause I’m an alien, that’s why I write ’til the page is outta space, yeah
From 7 Mile in Novara to “How can I be down?”
All of us tryna pile in the car, we shot for the stars, yeah
‘Cause we only got so much time in this world
So rewind it to your high school dance to the night before
If you think you’re promised tomorrow
Now I’m ’bout to fool again
This tune is sick, it’s luminous, the moon is lit
A freakin’ lunatic, a human computer chip
And I’m soon to stick a broom in the —– of your Hooter’s —–
If I was you I wouldn’t do nothin’ stupid due to the mood I’m in
I’m losin’ it, you get chewed like a Junior Mint
Show me who to rip, it’s time for you to get screwed
Empty the lubricant and put super glue in it
How many ——– rappers did I go through?
Dispel doubt but you won’t admit I ——-
And you was spellbound, hellbound in my snowsuit
But am I s’posed to sound like everything else out?
Eminem is rebutting the point that everyone wants him to do conscious rap but he thinks that he’ll just sound formulaic.
‘Cause I don’t get compared to it, only myself now
And I can see the fair-weather fans and sales down
But the only way I care is if I let myself down
But what the —- have I awoke to?
Time to eat the vocals and —- out Pro Tools
I know you still want me to ill out, don’t you?
Hopin’ the old Slim’s gonna spill out, open fire
Everyone was saying that they wanted Slim Shady not Eminem on this new album.
On your whole camp with this spit I wrote you
So chill out, no, you —- couldn’t roast me with the —- I wrote you
Then I took a stand, went at Tan-Face
And practically cut my motha——- fan base in half and still outsold you
You just called my —- trash
Thank God, I rap better when the odds are stacked
Revival’s wack, I don’t like the Zombie” track
Or when he’s talkin’ that garbage psychotic crap
Where’s your content at? What’s with all the conscious rap?
Another point about the conscious rap that critics didn’t like.
P!nk, Beyoncé this and Kehlani that”
Another point that critics made was the lack of rap artists featuring on the album.
I just added to the fuel in my rocket pack
‘Til I’m ready to respond, then I’ma launch it at ’em
Idiotic from the ——- ——– —
To the bodybag, I’ll be back
And when I am, I’ll be at your ——- throat like—
However the real star on this track was the flow, which was absolutely insane. The guest verses were fairly average, probably slightly better than the average standard of those two featuring artists but definitely not as good as Em on this track.
Rating: 8.5 / 10