The second single from Eminem’s recent album, MMLP2, “Rap God” hit YouTube around a month ago at this point. Living up to its name, the song proves that Eminem is a “Rap God.” Old school fans of Eminem approaching this, hoping for another “Lose Yourself,” may well be disappointed; however, anyone wanting to see a new Eminem at the top of his game needs to look no further.
“Rap God” brings a mix of everything that made Eminem a sensation in the first place, with a new sense of maturity and energy. Tied to all of this is a very real knowledge of the need for Eminem to solidify his legacy, as well as pointing out the failures of rap today. Whereas Eminem was “a product of Rakim/Lakim Shabazz, 2Pac, N-W-A., Cube, hey, Doc, Ren/Yella, Eazy, thank you, they got Slim,” modern rappers appear as being as “pointless as Rapunzel/With fucking cornrows/You’re write normal, fuck being normal.” Then, in classic Eminem fashion, he goes on to mention how he brought a ray gun from the future.
Eminem was never a rapper to shy away from controversy, or unique rhymes and themes. “Rap God” shows him at the top of his game in terms of this. Whether he’s playing with the puns of slap boxing not being that hard in the bridge, or talking about his blueprint for success from his younger years, Eminem is all action in this song. It shows, too. At over six minutes in length, “Rap God” is an opus from Eminem, it is a legacy builder.
Aside from the content of the verses, the real standout from the track is Eminem’s impressive mastering of different speeds, timing, and flow. Effortlessly he seems to transition from one time signature to another, resembling more the mastery of rappers like Gift of Gab, than any mainstream rappers you see today. And there you have the crux of Eminem’s piece.
He seemingly laments the state of the music and art he loves, and so, through “Rap God,” he’s hoping to set the bar high and challenge other rappers to even come close to challenging his stature.