Last year Eminem dropped his surprise album Kamikaze and basically took aim at everyone who panned him, slighted him, or got him angry. For Eminem, it was a return to signature form. To others, it was drama for the sake of relevancy. And to NF fans, it was WAR.

NF has been receiving Eminem comparisons for years. It’s kind of a badge of honor for white emcees at this point. Without diving into those comparisons, it appeared Marshall Mathers took aim at the younger artist who is currently in a numbers battle with Chance the Rapper for No. 1 album. Here’s what Em rapped on “The Ringer”:

It’ll help me get back to myself and she’ll love me (ooh-ooh)
I mailed the b**** back and said if I did that
I’d just be like everyone else in the f****** industry
Especially aN eFfing Recovery clone of me”

Now say that last line slowly…an effing Recovery clone. NF-ing Recovery clone. You may think this is a reach, but Em has no trouble dropping F-bombs so why say “effing” here? Also, in the ad-lib, he says “N-Fing, ha.” Someone as skilled in rhyme and as precise as him knows exactly what he’s doing. NF doesn’t swear and neither did Em.

Let’s leave those lines and that story at that. To dive deeper into that Eminem diss, check out the write up from last year here.

Now, let’s focus on NF’s song “Returns” off his new album The Search. It’s been a little while since that “alleged diss” came out and you would think it got back to NF. Everyone seems to be focusing on the following lines:

There ain’t no I in team, but drop the T and A
Sometimes, if I’m being honest, feels like it’s only me
No defeat, notably, better have it right if you’re quoting me
Write my name on your hit list, it might be the last time you wrote something
Rip that cocky smile right off your face for thinking you’re close to me
Grab a can of gasoline, light it all over your self-esteem
Selfishly watching y’all helplessly pretend you’re on my planet
Shoot you out of the sky like you’re punchlines, you are not landing

Let’s dissect!

Drop the T and A from team and you have EM. (Eminem). This line is a bit iffy because of what he says in the follow up of it feeling like “only me.” Drop the T and A and then flip the E and M and get ME. I don’t know about this here…

Next line he says “no defeat,” okay, he wasn’t beaten by Eminem but Em never quoted him. So this is probably about someone else.

Now finally, we get into something of substance. Eminem definitely had a hit list on Kamikaze – Joe Budden, Machine Gun Kelly, Tyler the Creator, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, and on and on with NF presumably being there too. However, saying “it might be the last time you wrote something” doesn’t make sense because Eminem “arguably” has the greatest “rhyme pen” of all-time.

The next line seems fueled by Eminem fans who say NF can’t touch Em’s lyrical ability. NF is like, “Nah, I can, and watch.” BUT, if you know anything about Eminem, he doesn’t really smile even if it’s cocky.  So, this line is uncertain also, it could be about anyone.

The next two lines are filler to reinforce the “thinking you’re close to me line before ending with maybe the second most compelling shot. Eminem’s Kamikaze album featured a plane on the cover. So NF is shooting it out of the sky so he can’t land. Here’s a flip though, a kamikaze plane doesn’t land because it takes a suicide dive into a target. Therefore, you can’t shoot something that already is crashing into a target. The sentiment by NF, if intended, rings though.

Combing through the song, there are a few other moments that might be shots. Here are some that stick out.

There’s bullets formed in my mind, they come out my mouth and (Pow, pow, pow)
For anyone out there doubting or acting mouthy (Watch, watch, watch)
Forget what you heard about me, I’ve been astounding (God, God, God)
Something for you thinking you might run circles ’round me