Eminem announced a solitary show at London’s Wembley Arena the other day, and of course being no stranger to breaking records; this makes him the first rapper ever to perform there. With tickets set to go on sale tomorrow (Friday 9th May) it seemed applicable to create a list of Eminem’s greatest songs. With a career spanning well over 20 years, over 8 solo albums, he certainly is one of the greats, over the next few days I will be releasing this list of the rap legend’s 30 greatest songs, starting with #30-#20.
30. Not Afraid, Recovery (2010)
Not Afraid was the lead single to Recovery, an album that wasn’t incredible but was certainly pretty good, Not Afraid was the immensely powerful lead single filled with confessions of his problems over the Relapse days. Em bounced back with a bang, sober and ready to hit us with a new album.
29. Rap God, The Marshall Mathers LP2 (2013)
A lot of people will rank this higher than I do, either way, there’s no denying Eminem is a rap god, and the third verse is nothing short of breathtaking, the amount of times me and a friend have sat there, jaw dropped, listening to this song in silence, what’s more, Eminem has recently stated this was a freestyle, all recorded in one take.
28. Square Dance, The Eminem Show (2002)
‘People! it feels so good to be back!’, when Eminem declares something like this against a beat with such huge chords and drums, you sit down, shut up and listen to what he has to say. Need I say much more?
27. Mosh, Encore (2004)
Like Square Dance, Em opens in the same way, but this time the beat is much more daunting and you take Eminem even more seriously, the hook perfectly illustrates what Em’s fans will do for him just because he’s such an incredible artist, the verses are also filled with politically charged lyrics.
26. Purple Pills (with D12), Devil’s Night (2001)
Teaming up with the rest of the dirty dozen, the lead single from D12’s first album illustrates them as the rap group they envisioned. Of course, a track all about drugs is going to have more references than an episode of Family Guy, the hilarious lyrics from all the six MCs on the track make it one of the group’s most renowned songs.
25. Jealousy Woes II, Infinite (1996)
Infinite is slated among critics, the much forgotten debut album from Eminem is clouded by the success of his first mainstream release The Slim Shady LP. As novice and lacklustre as Infinite is, Jealousy Woes II is its saving grace, Eminem’s razor-sharp lyricism is there, as well his renowned humour, it’s the first glimpse of the star we all now and love today.
24. Sing For The Moment, The Eminem Show (2002)
Classically sampling Aerosmith’s Dream On, Eminem used Sing For The Moment as a base for him to defend himself against the critics as well as the parents of his fans, not to mention rap’s effect on the world. Now as a voice of reason to his millions of followers, he set things straight with lines like ‘and if I’m a criminal how the fuck can I raise a little girl’.
23. Bitch Please (ft Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Nate Dogg & Exhibit), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
All MCs bring more than their A-game to Bitch Please, ‘bitch please you must have a mental disease, assume the position and get back down on your knees’ is just one of many highlights of the classic Dre beat, but still Eminem manages to steal the show with lines like ‘here want me to tone it down? Suck my fucking dick you faggot, you happy now?’
22. Bezerk, The Marshall Mathers LP2 (2013)
Berzerk was one of the few songs I really liked from Em’s most recent album, it was the lead single and shed light onto what to expect from his sequel the one of hip-hop’s greatest albums. Unfortunately, the rest of the album was pretty shoddy in my opinion, but Bezerk had the essence of what I feel Em was really going for.
21. When I’m Gone, Curtain Call (2005)
As we all know, Mr Mathers hasn’t held back in rapping about his family, and When I’m Gone is probably the best example of it (bar Mockingbird), heavily potent lyrics, a solid self-produced beat make for one of Eminem’s most personal yet respected songs.
20. Love Game (ft Kendrick Lamar), The Marshall Mathers LP2 (2013)
After the tracklist for MMLP2 was unveiled, there was much anticipation around the guest spot from Kendrick Lamar. When I first heard Love Game, I thought it was bizarre, with inspirations from country music to referencing Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest there was so much going on, but that’s what makes Em such a talent, he pulls it off, Kendrick brought his A-game to the track with the same level of thinking.
To read on, click here for Part2 (#19-#11)