Eminem is comfortable being the disconcerting older statesman in hip-hop right now. He’s got those who respect him, those who think he’s washed, and those who wouldn’t even put him in their Top 5 list of Detroit MCs. It doesn’t matter though, he’s cool with it all, he doesn’t need to be liked by everyone. In fact, we don’t need him to be liked by everyone because if ‘Kamikaze’ taught us anything it’s that it brings the best out of the legendary MC.
Picking up where his tenth album left off, Em’s latest collaboration with Logic, ‘Homicide’, is a rapid-fire ruckus packed full of witty bars that sees a combination of jabs thrown at a few unnamed rappers – there’s already a theory that Logic is talking to Kendrick Lamar at the end of the song’s first verse.
- Read more: Eminem – ‘Kamikaze’ review
Due to land on Logic’s upcoming fifth studio album, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, it’s quite surprising that he and Eminem have never previously worked together. Between having highly publicised rocky relationships with their mothers, growing up in two of the toughest cities in America, having to deal with the obstacles that come with being a rapper with a lighter skin complexion, and each being exceptional lyricists, they have more in common than we probably realise. And like most rappers, Eminem is a hero to Logic – see his post below.
It was incredible really sitting and just hanging with a man I’ve studied my whole life. And I learned him and his homies are just like me and mine. All we talk about is rap haha it’s the best! Thanks Em! For all the Love #RapkinNaNapkin pic.twitter.com/ezhLlQcsX9
— Bobby Briefcase (@Logic301) February 18, 2019
Likely conceiving the idea for the track when the pair toured together in Hawaii earlier this year, ‘Homicide’ is a not-so-gentle reminder that when Eminem has a chip on his shoulder – the same shoulder that carried hip-hop to another stratosphere during the late 90s and early 00s – no one can fuck with him lyrically. It also dispels the notion that Logic is simply just Mr. ‘1-800-273-8255’. A student of hip-hop, a young Bobby Tarantino dreamt of this moment growing up – the opportunity to rap alongside one of his idols and prove that he can in fact hold his own. So all the freestyles, all the ciphers and all the mixtapes prepared him for this particular moment, and there’s no question he rose to the occasion.
Like Batman and Robin, ’Homicide’ hears our caped crusaders on the hunt for bad guys, the type who employ ghostwriters and use autotune when they rap. Over a bed of menacing drum kicks and erratic trap drums, Eminem and Logic go to work on those of today’s rappers who opt for the easy route when it comes to creating a hit record. “Jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga like Jay-Z/ Jig is up, you fuckers who don’t write anything/ Are getting washed now, chika-chika-chika, like bathing,” Em spits, kicking off the song’s final verse.
Putting his foot in the ass of everyone ‘Kamikaze’ style, while Em gets his guns off taking aim at his doubters, it’s Logic who goes semi-automatic – in flow and ferocity – with a no holes barred attitude that mirrors the fearless nature of N.W.A.’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’. Puffing his chest out and evidently feeling safe in the same space as the great white hope, at one point he steps up to the mic and asks: “Can a single one of you motherfuckers even rap? Shit.” He even has a dig at his own shortcomings when he takes a few lines to reference his go-to freestyle phrase (“Yeah, I’m killing this shit.”), a phrase that rap fans have repeatedly called him out for overusing in his raps. Em too is able to laugh at himself when a snippet of Chris D’Elia’s famous sketch mocking the legendary rapper appears at the end of the record.
From a production standpoint, ‘Homicide’ feels like a twisted nursery rhyme that blends the rapid-fire pace of anything by Tech N9ne with the ‘Things Fall Apart’ era of The Roots. With a hint of pre-2000 Xzibit, the eerie unease of the SHROOM and Bregma-produced cut is undeniably captivating. You’d also not be wrong for suggesting that it sounds like something designed specifically to score a Kill Bill fight scene – which might actually be on purpose being that Logic is a big Quentin Tarantino fan.
More a demonstration in the lyrical complexities of clever wordplay than something you can throw on at a bank holiday barbecue, or in the background of your weekly book club, Eminem and Logic’s joint assault on the English dictionary won’t be wooing the attention of your rewind button too often but it will keep those backpackers packing, the Stans stanning and the Justin Biebers disgruntled.