Meaning of “The Ringer” by Eminem

“The Ringer” is the title of the first track from American rapper Eminem‘s 13-track studio album titled Kamikaze. The lyrics of this fiery track begin with an apparently furious Eminem saying he is just going to write down the first thoughts that come to his mind and see where these thoughts take him. The lyrics of this track see Eminem mainly addressing his fans and critics alike. Below are some of the key issues Eminem raps about in this track:

Expresses his disdain for the current state of Rap while attacking Mumble Rappers

In the song, Eminem strongly criticizes the current state of the hip-hop industry. In doing so, his primary focus falls on mumble rap (also sometimes referred to as SoundCloud rap). He even goes as far as mentioning some of the big names in the mumble rap world and actually dissing them.

List of Rappers Eminem Disses on “The Ringer”

“Lil Pump, Lil Xan imitate Lil Wayne” – Eminem

Among the numerous rappers Eminem takes jabs at in the lyrics of this song include the following: Lil Yachty, Lil Xan and Lil Pump. According to Eminem, the latter two rappers blatantly copy rapper Lil Wayne.

 

Praises other Rappers

“And dump on you if you ain’t Joyner
If you ain’t Kendrick or Cole or Sean then you’re a goner”
                                                                            – Eminem

In addition to using this track to take jabs at other rappers, Eminem also devotes a portion of the lyrics to praise some of his peers. Rappers Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Joyner Lucas and J. Cole are the rappers Eminem heaps praises on.

 

Attacks President Donald Trump

Eminem attacks Donald Trump on this track. In the lines below, Eminem not only mocks President Trump by calling him “Agent Orange”, but also goes on to claim that the “nervous” president sent his Secret Service to investigate him.

Lyrics of The Ringer by Eminem

If it is in fact true that the Secret Service questioned him about possibly threatening President Trump, this wouldn’t be the first time this has happened to Eminem. The Secret Service also came after Eminem in 2003 for his song “We As Americans”.

Blasts the Public for treating him unfairly

In the following lines, Eminem strongly blasts the public for being unfair in their treatment of him. According to him, when his critics say negative things about him, they are rewarded. However, when he does the same to them, he is criticized.

You mention me, millions of views, attention in news I mention you, lose-lose for me, win-win for you

Hints he regrets telling certain fans to stop listening to his music

At the 2017 BET Awards while performing his anti-Donald Trump song “The Storm”, Eminem told all his fans who support Trump to stop listening to his music. However, Eminem now seems to have regretted saying that. So he devoted a significant percentage of the lyrics of “The Ringer” to address that issue. In the lines below (from the track), Eminem talks about wishing he could turn back the hands of the clock so he could reword what he said in “The Storm“. In our eyes, this is nothing short of a sign of regret. Eminem goes on to tell those Trump-supporting fans of his that he empathizes with them as well as other Trump supporters.

The Ringer lyrics

The “evil serpent” in the lyrics above refers to President Donald Trump.

According to Eminem, Trump not only deceived his followers but ended up deserting them. Owing to this, Eminem claims he understands them even though they support Trump.

 

Facts about “The Ringer”

  • This track was penned by Eminem alongside 4 other songwriters, including American music producers Ronny J and IllaDaProducer. The two other songwriters on the track are M. Jacobson and K. Marrero.
  • Eminem produced the track alongside two of the song’s writers: IllaDaProducer and Ronny J.
  • The song was released on August 31st, 2018. It is the first track from his surprise tenth studio album titled Kamikaze.
  • “The Ringer” is one of the most famous tracks from Kamikaze.
  • Despite not being released as a single, “The Ringer” debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 8.

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3 Responses

  1. Jacob Newberry says:

    I have a theory that “The Ringer” is entirely aimed at Trump and I’ve been reading through various discussions to see if I’m not the only one to see it this way. Although, I didn’t notice the agent orange comment until now which was hilarious btw.

    I think the song starts with Eminem acting as if he is trump, or mocking Trump, in a provocative and overexaggerated way… portraying him as destructive, disrespectful, impulsive, hateful, etc. as Em has already made clear, his hate for Trump.

    The plane crash at the beginning symbolizes Trump, without a care, landing into the next state as he did during his campaign prior to dishing out one of his MAGA speeches.

    For some reason I have this imagery stuck in my head of Trump flying the plane, chrashing on his way in, stepping out, finishing off a bottle of whiskey, and uttering the words “I’m just going to write down first thoughts… see where it takes me.” As if he were referring to the speech he was about to deliver. “I just wanna punch the world in the face.” Is also very similar to some of the words Trump has said during his speeches, i.e. encouraging supporters to “punch him in the face” in regards to protesters.

    The next line flashes forward to the beginning of Trump’s speech. “Let me explain just how to make greatness.” This coincides with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.

    “Ain’t no mistakes allowed” as one would typically expect a presidential campaign speech to be “politically correct”

    “But I’m about to rape the alphabet” Trump doesn’t care. He will say what he wants. Also, the rape reference could be a point on Trump’s disrespect for women (grab her by the puss).

    Anyways, I could keep going but wanted to get someone else’s take.

  1. September 13, 2018

    […] this track and “The Ringer” debuted simultaneously on the top 10 of the Hot 100, Eminem achieved something only few […]

  2. September 14, 2018

    […] For example, multiple tracks on his 2018 album Kamikaze. Some of these tracks include “The Ringer” and “Lucky […]

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