OTEP Unleashes Explosive Rendition Of EMINEM's 'The Way I Am'
September 5, 2023
OTEP, the band led by singer, poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya, will release a new studio album, "The God Slayer", on September 15 via Cleopatra. The follow-up to 2018's "Kult 45" offers up a mix of inspired original tracks as well as transformative takes on chart-topping hits from a variety of influences, including pop, rap and grunge, by such artists as Eminem, Billie Eilish, SLIPKNOT, Lil Peep and Olivia Rodrigo.
The LP's latest single is OTEP's unapologetic, nu-metal reimagination of Eminem's "The Way I Am", which amplifies the rap god's unadulterated anger with a new vitriol all her own. OTEP's wrath-filled rendition of this rap classic takes a sledgehammer to the Pollyanna image of the perfect celebrity, shattering the listener's rose-tinted glasses with a power-packed, bass-heavy beat, blistering bars, and driving rhythm, complete with high octane screams and a bludgeoning breakdown. Otep's silver tongue shines with her transformative take on this hip hop hit, as she spits rhymes, seamlessly keeping in time, all the while ripping the words from the page to rearrange into something truly one of a kind.
On October 3, 2000, "The Way I Am" was released by Eminem as the second single from "The Marshall Mathers" LP. "The Way I Am" has received double-platinum certification in the U.S. and critical acclaim worldwide, including platinum certification in the U.K. and gold in Sweden. While Eminem's undeniable talent thrust him into the spotlight, it also brought bitter criticism and controversy, as not everyone was ready to hear what he had to say. However, this condemnation only added to fuel to his creative fire, with which he has blazed the trail to the top as the highest-selling rap artist of all time.
Shamaya describes "The God Slayer" best herself, saying: "This offering to the gods of music, I performed many rituals, free-dives into the blackness of my soul, to retrieve the early spark that ignited my creative journey. With respect, love and gratitude, I now offer it to you."
"The God Slayer" track listing:
01. My Violent Appetites 02. Ostracized 03. Good 4 U 04. Exit Wounds 05. You Should See Me In A Crown 06. The Way I Am 07. California Girls 08. Pet 09. Territorial Pissings 10. Star Shopping 11. Purity 12. God Slayer
Not only is Shamaya a revered musical figure, known for her intrepid blending of metal genres and hip-hop, as exemplified on her notorious 2002 debut album "Sevas Tra", but she's also amassed an enormous following based on her fearless performances and confrontational, spiritually tinged lyrics. It's that combination of radical artistry and galvanizing message that the world desperately needs now more than ever, and OTEP is ready to answer the call.
In September 2022, Shamaya told the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire" about the songwriting process for OTEP's new album: "This record actually was written with a couple of different songwriters, which I was really excited to work with. 'Kult 45' was my last album, which is four years old now. It's insane to believe that it's been four years, but it has. When I went back in the studio, the band had sort of dispersed at that point — everybody was trying to make a living and trying to find other jobs — and so I just went to the producer and we sat down and we found some really, really talented, creative people. And even though I've been doing this for a long time and have accomplished a lot — at least I think I have — I really work best with mentors. I like people that are, I feel, creatively better than I am so that I can have this sort of spiritual intercourse between all of us where we're sort of sharing ideas and I'm inspiring them and they're inspiring me."
Throughout the span of her career, Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to social and political injustices felt by various communities and subcultures. For years, publications such as Revolver magazine have lauded Shamaya for "following in the footsteps of outspoken musicians from folk singer Woody Guthrie to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Zach de la Rocha, dubbing her "one of music's catalysts for social change".
OTEP's latest album, the aforementioned "Kult 45", was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles, completely utilizing the same equipment used for OTEP's first album, "Sevas Tra" (down to Shamaya's vocal microphone, a SHURE Beta 58),in order to create a sound reminiscent of their roots. "Kult 45" was produced by the band, with assistant engineering from Larry Goetz, Nicolas Schilke and Lizzy Ostro.
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