The Ringer

Album: Kamikaze (2018)
Charted: 4 8
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • "The Ringer" finds Eminem tearing into at the contemporary generation of rappers. He pans them for their incessant lyrics about jewelry ("Since nine-tenths of your rhyme is about ice"), slams Lil Pump and Lil Xan for "imitating" Lil Wayne, and slates the "choppy flow everyone copies." He also continues his criticism of those who mumble whilst spitting or singing ("I heard your mumblin' but it's jumbled in mumbo-jumbo"), a theme the Detroit MC previously explored on the Revival track "Chloraseptic" and his Royce da 5'9" collaboration "Caterpillar."
  • Eminem also baits Donald Trump, pointing out that the President has yet to answer his 2017 freestyle "The Storm," in which he tore into the POTUS, something he did on as several other rhymes he included on his album Revival.

    And say I empathize with the people this evil serpent
    Sold the dream to that he's deserted
    But I think it's workin'
    These verses are makin' him a wee bit nervous
    And he's too scurred to answer me with words
    'Cause he knows that he will lyrically get murdered

    Eminem hasn't been shy about voicing his issues with Trump ever since his 2016 freestyle "Campaign Speech." On the Revival track "Offended," he expressed his disappointment that the president hasn't responded to his disses.

    But till I get the President to respond
    My pen and pencil is a missile launcher
  • Eminem concludes the track by referencing the poor reviews Revival got in the media.

    They been pannin' my album to death
    So I been givin' the media fingers
    Don't wanna turn this to a counseling sesh
    But they been puttin' me through the ringer
    So I ain't ironin' s--t out with the press
    But I just took this beat to the cleaners

    The phrase "to put through the wringer," meaning to give someone a difficult time, alludes to putting something through an old-fashioned hand-operated wringer washing machine.
  • Kala Brown is a woman who was found chained in a storage container at the South Carolina home of serial killer Todd Kohlhepp back in November 2016. Brown's boyfriend Charlie Carver was one of seven people Kohlhepp killed over the course of more than a decade. Eminem raps a reference to her incarceration in the song's central verse.

    Bitch, I'm off the chain like Kala Brown

    "We have seen all of the attention regarding Eminem referencing Kala in one of his newly released songs," a spokesperson for Brown responded on a statement to Spartanburg, South Carolina's local CBS station WSPA. "At this time, given we fully know and understand Eminem's style of rap music (it can come off a little unnerving) but she does not want to take offense or feel as if he is attacking her personally. It was a clever line that rhymed and we'd like to leave it at that."

    Brown's spokesperson added: "Everyone expresses themselves in their own way, and if anything, people will always feel a flash of Kala's struggle when hearing that line."
  • Eminem raps about getting a visit from the Secret Service:

    Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service
    To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin' him

    It was later revealed - through a Buzzfeed News Freedom Of Information Act request - that Em really did get a visit from the Secret Service, which questioned him about lyrics in his 2017 song "Framed," where he imagines Ivanka Trump dead in the trunk of his car. After meeting with Eminem, they determined that no further investigation was necessary.
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