Meaning of “Kick Off” by Eminem

“Kick Off” is a 10-minute plus diatribe by legendary rapper Eminem. It is part of the “battle rap” subgenre, in which lyricists are trying to prove their mastery in a competitive setting and accordingly use lyrics meant to induce an emotional response.


The aforementioned statement is supported by Eminem in the intro. He lets the listener know that some of the things he’s about to say may prove to be controversial. However, he is doing so in the name of ‘obliterating’ his competitors and evoking “a reaction from the crowd”.


Em kicks off the first verse basically by letting listeners know that despite apologizing for offensive lyrics in the past, ultimately spitting them is a part of his nature he can’t do away with. He then makes a reference to the Islamic terrorist attack that occurred in 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert. And although it may seem he’s doing so tastelessly, listeners should note that he did help victims of this very attack by assisting in raising millions of dollars for their support.

He then ends this particular section with another reference to Islam by stating he will “make a bitch Raqqa hijab”. This is actually wordplay, as “Raqqa” sound just like ‘rock a’, with ‘rocking’ being a hip-hop term for wearing something. In other words, Em is bragging about his control over women, claiming he can make one even wear a hijab if he so desired.

Afterwards the lyrics, start to become a bit more indecipherable. This is more indicative of a true freestyle rap since such lyrics are supposed to be spat off the top of the head. He then dedicates a few bars to a tale about enticing a woman into a romantic affair with him. He then explains to the listener his wherewithal to dominate a woman both physically and mentally. He concludes the verse on a different not, by explaining that rival rappers profit just by mentioning his name. But is the last statement really true? Absolutely true!


In the second verse, Eminem gets a bit more specific in his attacks. He starts to mention common practices in the rap industry that are underneath him or that he finds appalling. For instance, he doesn’t need to hire ghostwriters. In fact his raps are even better than those written by entire professional teams. He also strongly criticizes ad-lib filled raps, the types that currently dominate hip-hop music.


Eminem conjures up his unusual style of being able to interpolate serious, real-life situations with colorful metaphors.  He also talks a little about his social life.  For instance he mentions that he and his homeys like strong, exotic drugs and are also prepared to deal with physical beef if it comes their way.  He also takes a traditional-Eminem jab at homosexuals. In summation, the verse is a challenge and warning to other rappers that his lyrical skills are superior.


Em starts off this section by explaining that his impressive verbal proficiency is just a gift he possessed since youth. The rest of the verse is pretty much dedicated to violent, criminally-based fantasies he has about women. With the average rapper, saying such would be a cause of considerable concern.  However, given Eminem’s history in addition to the fact that this is indeed freestyle, this type of asininity is more or less to be expected.


The fifth verse is also devoted to Em’s lyrical mastery. He is asserting that all he needs to be empowered with is a pen and paper, and he can compose lines whose repercussions will be felt throughout the rap industry.


At the beginning of the sixth verse, Eminem recounts some personal experiences with drug abuse. He then makes an analogy between such and the impact of his lyrics. He says he doesn’t care who they affect, even if it contributes to social upheaval.


This verse begins with Eminem stating outrightly that he is a ‘mental case’. Yet despite his lack of concern about what comes out of his mouth, the industry keeps providing him a venue to express himself. The latter part of the verse is one of the most heavily-encrypted parts of the song. However, it basically seems to be saying something to the effect that homosexuals should not even look in Eminem’s direction.


Em starts off the penultimate stanza with references to his desire to take things back to the old days. He then engages in extreme wordplay using a bunch of taboo subjects.


Along a similar vein, Eminem starts the final verse humorously talking about the enormous size of a certain part of his body. This however is most likely an allegory to his unignorable status in the music industry. He then drives this point home by saying that other rappers will never be as successful.  Indeed even the sight of Eminem induces fear in them. Finally he once again gives a shoutout to his musical ability.


Eminem closes out the entire track by stating specifically to females that he was “just playing” when spitting violent content earlier. He then ends by saying, “I got a idea for a line”. This can be his way of saying that even though he just successfully rapped for about 11 minutes straight, he could still keep going if he so desired.

"Kick Off"

Facts about “Kick Off”

  • “Kick Off” was entirely composed by Eminem.
  • This ten minute long freestyle contains over 1,700 words. These 1,700+ words are divided into the following categories: an intro, 9 verses and an outro. The intro features the vocals of fellow rapper Royce Da 5’9″.
  • The song contains no chorus.
  • Although the vocals of Royce Da 5’9″ appear on this track, he isn’t officially being featured on it.
  • The phrase “Kick Off” (which is the song’s title) doesn’t appear anywhere in the almost 2000 words that make up the song.
  • The official music video for “Kick Off” was shot in Eminem’s hometown of Detroit. To be precise, it was filmed at the Saint Andrew’s Hall. This concert venue is famous worldwide for being one of the very first venues where Eminem performed before gaining international stardom. In this venue, Em fought many a rap battle.
  • According to Eminem, “Kick Off” was heavily inspired by the 2017 rap film Bodied, starring Canadian actor Calum Worthy. It’s noteworthy that Em was one of the producers of the aforementioned film.
  • “Kick Off” is tagged as one of Eminem’s most controversial songs. This is because its lyrics are rife with very violent and shocking imagery.
  • This highly controversial freestyle interpolates at least 5 of Eminem’s songs. They include: “Killshot“, “My Mom”, “Kill You”, “White America” and “So Much Better”.
  • Em officially dropped “Kick Off” on November 30, 2018.

Why haven’t you posted the audio or video for “Kick Off” here?

Unfortunately, the song’s lyrics, audio and video contain very violent and offensive language. The highly offensive nature of this material makes us unable to post it here as is a family friendly platform. Hopefully we would find a very clean version of this track and put it here for the viewing and listening pleasure of our visitors.

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