Eminem got famous as arguably the first widely popular white rapper. Since bursting on the scene, he has dropped a hit album and hit single after a hit single. He was relatively quiet in the past few years, but he came back to the public eye with his anti-Trump freestyle. Famous for his lyrics, what are some of the best Eminem songs?
Famous for his alter ego, Slim Shady, Eminem has had quite a few hit singles. His lyrics are known as violent, homophobic, misogynistic, and more. But the reality is that Eminem fans love his songs and lyrics. Let’s take a look at the best Eminem songs from his rap albums. For most of his albums, Eminem collaborated with Dr. Dre.
With the initial verse, Eminem starts the show. He just says, “This looks like a job for me” and from there on, the party is on. Back in the day, nobody did controversy better than Marshall Mathers.
Through the music video, Eminem plays with some of his musical enemies like Moby, Limp Bizkit, and even some of the NSync guys.
Eminem is famous for violent songs. But he also has some rap ballads. This rap ballad even earned a Grammy Award nomination. The song is the emotional high of his fifth album, Encore.
Many consider this Eminem song a love letter written to his daughter, Hailie. In the song, he raps, “I know you miss your mom, and I know you miss your dad. When I’m gone, but I’m tryin’ to give you the life that I never had”. Strong words there.
This song helped Eminem prove that he didn’t need Rihanna to make a radio hit in 2010. Before this song, Eminem had a duet with Rhianna. But Not Afraid showed he is still more than capable to deliver a radio hit.
The instantly memorable and very sing-alongable chorus made the track another anthem for Eminem fans.
Truth be told, Eminem always consider himself an MC and Rap God. And then he made a song telling us exactly what he feels about himself.
The song marked a return to his schizophrenic insanity of the early work. The difference is he didn’t focus on a specific target or deep personal issue. In this song, Marshall Mathers simply made general boats about his longevity in the rap game.
During the song, he referenced his heroes like Tupac Shakur, Rakim, and Dr. Dre.
Love the Way You Life ft. Rihanna
This is the song that gave Eminem huge popularity during the 2010s. It was a time when Eminem was a bit away from the scene. But thanks to the duet with Rihanna, he came back onto the scene instantly.
Arguably one of the saddest songs in rap history. And one of the saddest rap songs. The six-minute epic talks about a crazy Eminem fan who drowns his pregnant girlfriend in a way to get the attention of celebrities.
Stan’s storytelling was so vivid and claustrophobic that fans instantly loved it. It forced you to get into the back of that car. The video was even better.
Eminem used the song to give a face and name to the kind of toxic fan culture that would later multiply with the appearance of social media.
Many consider this great song to be his Stairway to Heaven. It cannot be bettered.
Here is another anthem that Eminem produced. It is a song that has transcended cultures both high and low. Lose Yourself dominated Billboard charts and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It is one of only two rap songs to achieve this feat.
It still ranks as one of the most integral pieces of hip hop of the 2000s. The iconic lyrics combined with the chorus that exemplifies his school of vocal delivery made the song a huge hit.
This Eminem song was the high point of the movie 8 Mile.
Eminem was fully aware of the perception the public had about him. He always knew he was every parent’s worst nightmare. But in this great song, he only shows that he embraces that role.
He dissects his cultural influence with real precision. Eminem talks about his so-called white privilege, saying, “If I was black I would’ve sold half”. White America showed rappers in the US can also be rock stars.
This song is as raw as they come. Each verse is more unhinged than the last. And it showed Eminem finally fully embraced his growing mythology as the angry blonde in the rap world.
That is why fans love him. He knows the perception about him but doesn’t run away from it. Instead, he embraces it and shows you how stupid that looks and sounds.
The Real Slim Shady
We cannot have a list of best Eminem songs without this one. Simply put, HE was the REAL Slim Shady. This song was Eminem’s attempt to liberate MTV from its excesses and give pop culture’s trashier icons the spanking they needed.
The hit single was so big, it opened up hip hop to the suburbs and made millions of white teenagers dye their hair blonde. Sounds influential enough?
Forgot About Dre ft. DrDre
The track is the perfect juxtaposition between Dre as the world-weary OG and Eminem as his deranged apprentice. In this song, Slim Shady raps like a cartoon Rottweiler, chomping his way through the beat. And it is linguistically dizzying.
If you can find another song with a better combination of perfect producer and rapper’s dynamics, do tell.
Sing for the Moment
This rap ballad was the highlight of his fourth LP, The Eminem Show. Many consider it one of his finest lyrical achievements.
With just a single song, he managed to defend himself against crucifying critics, pissed-off journalists, and outraged parents who said his lyrics promoted violence.
Just look at the rhymes, “They say music can alter moods and talk to you / Well, can it load a gun up for you and cock it too? Well, if it can, the next time you assault a dude / Just tell the judge it was my fault, and I’ll get sued.”
Many call this the darkest song to appear on a diamond-selling album. Kim is about the murdering chaos of his misguided lovesick rage.
In this song, Eminem switches between male and female voices with an unsettling schizophrenic power. The bittersweet chorus is just the cherry on top.
The song broke new ground for storytelling rap.
The Way I Am
This song was released after the Real Slim Shady. Nobody could believe it would be the follow-up single or be prepared for it.
Unlike Slim Shady, The Way I Am is a rhythmic anomaly, like a jagged knife slipping through the ribs.
My Name Is
We have to give props to one of his most versatile displays of performance through the idea of shifting identities. His whole rap career has been about shifting through different identities. After all, he has an alter ego Slim Shady.
For this song, Eminem says it was the first thing that came out of his mouth the first day he was at Dr. Dre’s house.
It is as far as good as it gets when it comes to improvising in the studio.
The song made it on his breakout album, The Slim Shady LP in 1999. He gained notoriety for his pure rapping ability and his morbid sense of humor.
At the same time, Eminem was labeled a pervert, homophobe, and loose canon. And with this song, he responded to those accusations.
You cannot find a better statement of his intent than the opening line of the first verse. He says, “I’m cancerous / So when I diss, you wouldn’t wanna answer this.”
The song is one of his hit singles on the debut album, oozing with contempt. He even says, “You can try this at home / you can be just like me”, taunting and teasing millions of fans and horrified parents.
Cleanin’ Out My Closet
Let’s finish with one of the best Eminem songs. The song is a perfect example of his duality. He swings between violent aggressor and piteous victim more often than not.
In this fan-favorite Eminem song, the rapper deals with disturbing admissions with as much humility as he can.