Last week, Eminem had us worried after phoning in a couple no-fucks-given-sounding tracks. But with “Rap God,” we finally get a track that doesn’t sound like it was made just for radio, and a reminder that Eminem can still slay a beat when he cares to. Right around 4:25 is straight vintage Em–listen in nostalgic awe as he showcases the nuanced, rapid-fire flow that made the world take notice over a decade ago.
There’s a surprising amount of self-awareness here for a song called “Rap God.” Em gives props to his predecessors: “Me? I’m a product of Rakim, Lakim Shabazz, 2Pac, N-W.A, Cube, hey, Doc, Ren, Yella, Eazy, thank you, they got Slim,” and talks frankly about his success: “Well, to be truthful/the blueprint’s simply rage and youthful exuberance/Everybody loves to root for a nuisance.” Wait, what? Come on, Em, give yourself more credit than that. But we definitely respect humility in a game filled with egomaniacs.
It’s not too long a wait for the cockiness we expected to comprise the whole track. By verse three we get “so you be Thor and I’ll be Odin, you rodent, I’m omnipotent/Let off then I’m reloading immediately with these bombs I’m totin’/And I should not be woken.” Now, that’s more like it. And finally, the puncher, (perhaps a shot at King of New York?) “Be a king? Think not/Why be a king when you can be a God?”
Do you have what it takes to be a Rap God? Stock up.