Eminem Returns To His Battle Rap Roots With The Year’s Best Freestyle (Video)

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Apparently, December is the month in which Hip-Hop’s most elite MCs seek to leave their mark. Last year, Black Thought nearly broke the internet with his 10-minute long Funkmaster Flex freestyle. This year, it’s Eminem’s turn.

After a 2017 in which many saw Eminem as faltering with the release of his critically-panned album Revival, 2018 has been one of the strongest in his storied career. Eminem kicked things off in January with a scintillating remix to Revival’s “Chloraspetic,” which featured 2 Chainz and Phresher. Em re-wrote his entire verse, and aimed it directly at his critics.

The fire in his belly he displayed turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, for in August he would return with his surprise album, Kamikaze, a project on which Em used every single song to systematically dismantle seemingly anyone with whom he had had a problem this decade.

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Not only did Kamikaze mark a true revival for Eminem, it also was a return to the early days of his career. While Revival, with its introspection, was more Marshall Mathers, Kamikaze was pure Slim Shady at his best. Now, as the ultimate coda for the year, Em has returned with a freestyle that goes even deeper into his roots.

As was loosely chronicled in the film 8 Mile, before the fame, Eminem’s start was in battle rap. In a full circle moment, last night, he released a video of an 11-minute freestyle in which he shifts back into battle mode and goes absolutely berserk. Unlike his album and epic takedown of Donald Trump last year, his “Kick Off” freestyle is not aimed at any particular target. Instead, the verse, which was inspired by the release of Bodied, the battle rap satire Em produced, is just an awesome display of lyrical mayhem. It is complex, provocative and, at times, unhinged.

In a tweet about the freestyle, which was filmed at The Shelter at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, Em said “The release of BODIED has me feeling nostalgic about battle rap so I headed down to my old stomping grounds.” The lyrics to the freestyle are so intricate that they require multiple rewinds, but the Genius transcription is below. Also, see what may be Eminem’s first televised interview ever on AFH TV.