“Not Alike” continues Kamikaze’s main theme by dissing the “mumble rappers” who currently dominate the industry.
The first beat, which is produced by Tay Keith, interpolates Drake and Blocboy JB’s “Look Alive,” which is a prime example of the common trap beats currently popular. The second beat, produced by Ronny J, is similar to many “SoundCloud Rap” type beats. Em also cleverly imitates Migos‘ “Bad and Boujee” flow in the hook, showing how easy it is to simply recycle the same flows, and put it on any type of trap beat. Throughout is also examples of different techniques such as repeating lyric, ad-libs and mocking the most common themes in modern rap.
This song marks yet another collaboration between Em and Royce da 5'9''. Their previous joint track “Caterpillar” off of Royce’s Book of Ryan has a similar theme as this song. It also marks the second time that Royce has featured on an Eminem studio album; the previous time being on 1999’s The Slim Shady LP, where he featured in “Bad Meets Evil” – which would become the collective name for the
remarkable rap duo.
In this song, Eminem extensively targets Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who released a response titled “Rap Devil” on September 3, 2018, three days after “Not Alike” was released.