×

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

  • Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market

    Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market to 18% Growth

    The U.S. Latin music business experienced its second year of double-digit growth in 2018, driven almost entirely by streaming, according to the RIAA’s year-end report. The Latin market grew 18% in 2018 to $413 million, driven by a nearly 50% growth in revenues from paid subscriptions, the report says. Streaming formats made up a whopping [...]

  • Ranking Roger of The BeatThe Beat

    Ranking Roger, of English Beat and General Public, Dies at 56

    Roger Charlery, aka Ranking Roger, the singer and toaster from the English Beat, General Public and Special Beat, died today after a battle with cancer, a rep for the band confirmed to Variety. He was 56. The group, which has existed in several different forms over the years, issued a statement on its social media [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D14-5180.raf

    The Sexist Metal Scene in 'The Dirt' Is Painfully Accurate, Say Veteran Female Execs

    UPDATED: The fallout from Friday’s premiere of Netflix’s few-holds-barred Motley Crue biopic, “The Dirt,” began even before the film, which focuses on the quartet’s ‘80s-‘90s decade of decadence, was released. The group’s ill treatment of many women in their orbit is a matter of public record, and is depicted both seriously and unsettlingly light-heartedly in [...]

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Grammy Awards60th Annual Grammy Awards, Press

    Grammy Eligibility Year to Close One Month Early for 2020 Awards

    The eligibility year for the 2020 Grammy Awards will close on Aug. 31, one month earlier than usual, the Recording Academy announced today in a letter to members. The change is due to next year’s telecast taking place on Jan. 26, around two weeks earlier than usual (although the 2018 awards took place on Jan. [...]

  • Post Malone wow video dancer

    Meet the 43-Year-Old Dancing Sensation From Post Malone's 'Wow' Video

    Mike Alancourt is here to dance his heart out, one Post Malone video at a time. The Florida native recently went viral thanks in no small part to his impressive moves. At 43 years old, he appears in the video for Post’s “Wow,” carrying the final third with his bearded, bellied routine. The video caught [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content