In the past week, Eminem has set the industry on fire by releasing his surprise record Kamikaze, which name-dropped a handful of hip-hop artists. In a new two-part with Sway Calloway on Tuesday (Sept. 11), discussed the new project, harsh criticism of his past projects, and more.
When questioned about his decision to drop Kamikaze unexpectedly, the rapper suggested it stemmed from wanting to step around fans’ preconceptions and premature opinions. “I feel like the way the climate is right now, if you give people enough time to let an album come out in two months, you give people time to say, ‘man, he better have a song like this or I ain’t f**king with it.’,” he said. “So I feel like giving them no warning was the best thing to do just because it doesn’t give people enough time.”
Em suggested that thought process was mostly influenced by the harsh criticism of his 2017 album Revival. “A lot of people had already formed their opinions,” he noted. While he admitted he has recorded some cringe-worthy albums throughout his career, including Encore (2004) and Relapse (2009), he stated that without his past bodies of work, he would have never gotten to the release of Kamikaze.
In speaking on the continuous critiques of his discography and career, Eminem commented on the current state of the culture and climate in hip-hop today. “Maybe because it doesn’t sound like everything else and what most people are doing, maybe that was what tainted their ear,” he said. “I remember a time in hip-hop that you had to be so different from the next person or you were trash. There’s a shift that happened, that if it doesn’t sound like everything else, then it’s trash automatically. I feel like it went beyond constructive criticism.”
The rapper also briefly commented on why he chose to throw jabs at artists like Joe Budden on his record. “Since the Internet has become the Internet… People can talk crazy about me,” he noted. “They should express themselves, and they have a right to. But now I also get to say whatever the f**k I want to say about you now.”
He added: “There is something inside me that is a little more happy when I’m angry. As bad as it feels, there’s a rush of it where it inspires me to say something back.”
As previously reported, Budden has not responded to the jab, but Machine Gun Kelly released a diss track “Rap Devil” in response to Eminem. In part two of the interview (which hasn’t dropped yet), Em is expected to comment on the unexpected feud with MGK. “Now, you’re a f**kin’ enemy,” he said in a short teaser for the second installment.
In the meantime, check out part one of Eminem’s interview with Sway in the video above.