×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eminem’s ‘Kamikaze’ Cover Pays Homage to Beastie Boys’ Classic ‘Licensed to Ill’

When Eminem dropped his surprise album “Kamikaze” late Thursday night, hip-hop fans of a certain age immediately noticed that the cover was both an homage to and a spoof of the Beastie Boys’ 1986 debut album, “Licensed to Ill.” A rep for the rapper confirmed that the homage was intentional; a rep for the Beasties said the group had not yet commented.

The group’s influence on Eminem should be obvious to any listener, and the rapper spoke to Rolling Stone about it in 2013.

“Obviously, yes, there was something about ‘Licensed to Ill’ — you had the Zeppelin samples and their vibe. You had Run-DMC, who were so cool, with the attitude of ‘F— you if you don’t like us.’ Same as the Beastie Boys. ‘F— you. We f—ing curse. We spit beer. We throw it on our f—ing fans.’ And obviously as they got older their views and things changed, as all of ours do. You can be mad at their sh– for not sounding like their last sh–, but if it did, then they didn’t grow as artists. Same as me.”

The Beasties also grew away from the snotty, sexist attitudes purveyed by their lyrics and image at the time — Adam Yauch in particular distanced himself from his former shtick, even rapping on the group’s 1994 song “Sure Shot”:

“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

After Yauch’s death in 2012, Eminem said in a statement, “Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world and I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others. They are trailblazers and pioneers and Adam will be sorely missed.”

Eminem obviously had fun with his parody of the album’s iconic plane-crashing cover, adding a pilot flipping the bird, a number on the plane reading “FU-2,” and just as the Beasties cover had the words “Eat me” written backward, Eminem’s says “Tikcu5.”

Reaction to the cover on Twitter was mixed, however many negative comments came from people who didn’t seem to realize that the cover was an homage (not plagiarism). Others commented on the fact that the reference may be lost on fans who may not be familiar with the 32-year-old “Licensed to Ill.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Music

  • Spice Girls Open Reunion Tour in

    Spice Girls Open European Reunion Tour With Inclusivity Proclamations, Sound Issues

    Posh Spice chose not to be included, but there was a lot of other inclusivity to go around as the four other Spice Girls opened their reunion tour in Dublin Friday night. “We welcome all ages, all races, all gender identifies, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions and beliefs, all abilities,” they [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish Fans to Receive Perks Due to Chicago Venue Change

    Billie Eilish and her music agents at Paradigm are experiencing what most would call a first class problem. The demand to see the 17-year-old singer live has prompted a change of venue for her June 9 show in Chicago — from the 5,000-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 20,000-plus-seat United Center arena. The last-minute venue change [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres Buys Adam Levine’s Beverly

    Adam Levine Cashes in on Sale of Max Mutchnick’s Former Mansion to Ellen DeGeneres

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo have sold a baronial Beverly Hills mansion with an illustrious chain of ownership for a reported $45 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The mainstream radio rock star, who, it was announced Friday, will not to return as a coach on “The Voice,” and the Namibian-born Victoria’s Secret [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content