"Why be a king when you could be a god?" Eminem asks at the end of six minutes of blazing fast-rap in new song "Rap God."
"What's a king to a god?" West asked in "No Church in the Wild," which has a killer hook and a loping verse trade-off.
They're both rhetorical question that touches on Kanye West's self-deification this year with "Yeezus" and his superstar collabo with Jay Z in Watch the Throne. So just what does Yeezy and Yeezus have to do with Eminem and "Rap God?"
Eminem's spent about 14 as hip-hop royalty, so it's curious he's only just now feeling those purple robes as a guilt god member. Using "lyrical acrobatic stunts," a renewed and self-aware double entredre of the term "faggot," a love letter to the rappers that made him and then hearkening his own song "We Made You," Marshall Mathers here is putting the leg in "legacy" so he has something to stand on when it comes to his place in rap heaven. While the maxi pad jokes remain unending -- seriously, and a Bill Clinton jab? -- his skills here are pristine and entertaining, even when he's poking fun at himself and rapping on hip-hop/pop tensions. After his flimsy hook, he goes: "I know the way to get [haters] motivated, I make elevating music / You make elevator music / 'Oh, he’s too mainstream,' well, that’s what they doing getting jealous, they confuse it / It’s not hip-hop, it’s pop, cause I found a hella way to fuse it / With rock, shock rap with Doc." It's like one big, glorious inside joke.
So what's the difference between a rap king and a rap god? Maybe it's someone who can make those jokes, and pull it off. "What's a rap god to a god?" may be the next question, hopefully answered in kind in the next Watch the Throne effort...
... or later on in Eminem's next album "Marshall Mathers LP 2," due on Nov. 5. Over the weekend Eminem also revealed the tracklist to "MMLP2," which features guest appearances from Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, fun.'s Nate Ruess and Sklar Grey. There's also a song on it called "Asshole," two recently revealed songs "Berzerk" and "Survival" and (you guessed it!) a skit. Check out the full tracklist below "Rap God."
Here is the tracklist for "Marshall Mathers LP 2":
1. “Bad Guy”
2. “Parking Lot” (Skit)
3. “Rhyme or Reason”
4. “So Much Better”
7. “Asshole” ft. Skylar Grey
9. “Rap God”
11. “Stronger Than I Was”
12. “The Monster” Ft. Rihanna
13. “So Far …”
14. “Love Game” ft. Kendrick Lamar
15. “Headlights” ft. Nate Ruess
16. “Evil Twin”