Eminem – Not Alike (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
The 8th track of new ‘Kamikaze’ album has Eminem blasting off at a few ‘mumble’ rappers in the industry. The title “Not Alike” is inspired by “Look Alive” by BlocBoy JB featuring Drake. The producer of “Look Alive”-Tay Keith is also the producer of this song by Eminem.
Eminem takes a serious stance in accusing that mumble rappers are the reason for the demise for the artistry in the rap and hip-hop game. Royce da 5’9″ also joins Eminem on vocals and bashes out on the new age rappers with poor lyricism and content. Eminem pretty much slashed out at the entire industry in “The Ringer,” and mocked the people who mocked his 2017 album ‘Revival’ in “Kamikaze.”
Tay Keith, Ronny J, Royce da 5’9” and Eminem are the writers on “Not Alike.”
Listen to “Not Alike” by Eminem
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The song takes dabs at new age rappers who use repetitive lyrics which most times makes no sense in a sentence, use of ad-libs and re-hashing same content.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Not Alike”
Eminem interpolates the rhyme of Migos’ “Bad & Boujee” track as an example of how little modern rap lyrics make sense. The entire pre-chorus is collection of two word pairs which don’t have any connection with each other or with the theme of the song.
These lyrics on “Not Alike” are a mock towards the mumble rappers. Possibly, the the reason behind the title of the song is explained with these lyrics.
After a pre-chorus that made no sense, Eminem says that is how much he has in common with the mumble rappers. Which indirectly hints that he has nothing to do with them.
As explained on Genius.com, the rhyming scheme on these lyrics is a “trap-rap flow with 1/3 beat flow for 3 beats then quit 1 beat and then repeat.” This also speaks that Eminem’s flows are different from the mainstream.
Royce da 5’9″ starts off the first verse of the song.
Royce da 5’9″ and Eminem are both anti-mainstream. 5’9″ starts off his lyrics by saying he does not care for Jordan shoe brands and Audemars wrist watches-both of which are luxury brands.
Royce also says that most new rappers are all about the smoke. This could have two meanings. First being, a reference to doing drugs and the second being a reference to how smoke is always bigger than the fire. The new artists may try to look big, but in fact, they are pretty washed up.
Royce gives a shout out to Bay-Area rapper G-Eazy, calling him “cool.”
He also takes a shot at new school rappers who are still trying to figure out how to freestyle like Royce. And Royce having mastered the art, his focus is on figuring out how to bag the adult-video stars Kapri Styles and Mya G. The latter took to Twitter to express her thrill to be mentioned on an Eminem song.
— Geezy.. (@MsMyaG) August 31, 2018
Royce goes onto a bit of play on words with his nickname ‘Nickle’ and the popular cryptocurrency ‘bitcoin.’ ‘Nickle’ could be a symbolism of the hard working generation who had to grind for every nickel, as opposed to the new generation of get-rich-quick schemes such as bitcoin.
Royce da 5’9″ gets quite ruthless when he calls the modern rappers music to be inspired by the rhymes of Dr. Seuss, who compose nursery rhymes with basic rhyming schemes targeted for children. Most modern rap is about strippers, prostitutes and getting money, which Royce says he has had enough of.
Eminem starts off his verse on “Not Alike” by calling out the lil’ rappers who claim to be affiliated with gangs and murders. But he calls them out and tells them that they have not even been charged with minor felonies.
Em gives a shout at his own “Rap God” song in which he literally spit lyrics at the speed of bullets. However, Machine Gun Kelly threw shade at Em and the song in “No Reason,” saying that he just raps and he is no God. Later on in “Not Alike,” Em directly calls out MGK for this diss.
The next few lines are directed at MGK who dissed Eminem on a Tech N9ine collaboration “No Reason.” MGK was a feature on N9ne’s single, and this results in an awkward situation between Eminem and Tech N9ne whom have collaborated before on “Speedom.” Eminem calls out MGK as “sneaky” for using someone else’s song to diss Eminem.
MGK has Tweeted about Eminem’s daughter Hailie Mathers calling her “hot” in 2012. At the time, Hailie was 16. Em is basically exposing MGK as a pedophile.
Eminem talks about Remy Ma ‘letting off’ which is an expression for shooting. Remy Ma was convicted for attempted murder in 2008.
Marshall talks about Fetty Wap in the next lines of “Not Alike.” He plays on words saying “I lost” which is similar to “eye lost” for Fetty Wap has only one functional eye. But what Em talks about here is when in 2015, Fetty Wap matched Eminem’s record of having two singles within Top 10 of Billboard Hot 100 chart. Fetty Wap did this with “My Way” and “Trap Queen.” However, Em assures that he will not lose his grip on the throne like that ever again.
Eminem pays homage to Prodigy calling him an OG of the game.
Towards the latter part of the verse Eminem calls Royce AKA Nickle and himself to be be equals in musical prowess.
The last few lines of the verse are dedicated to preaching what Eminem has in common with the mainstream rappers. There is “nuttin” common it seems and he proves this by spilling out perfectly rhyming syllables that have nothing to do with each other or the meaning of the song. Much like he did with the hook of this track, these words do not link up with anything, which is a back handed slap at modern school of lyricists.
Eminem and Royce da 5’9″ absolutely massacre the new school of lil’ rappers who claim to be thugs and gangsters who live on drugs and bathe on women. They expose these rappers’ charades and gives shout outs to the real OGs of the game.
Let us know what you think about “Not Alike” by Eminem and Royce da 5’9″. Do you agree with our interpretation of the lyrics and the meaning? Let us know in the comments below. Also, make sure to rate the article and share it with Stans.