Eminem is no doubt one of the greatest emcees of all time and as a result, he has many outstanding verses to choose from. I’ve attempted to pick out and analyse five of his best for your consideration.
Jay Z Ft. Eminem – Renegade
“Since I’m in a position to talk to these kids and they listen
I ain’t no politician, but I’ll kick it with ’em a minute
‘Cause see, they call me a menace, and if the shoe fits I’ll wear it
But if it don’t, then y’all will swallow the truth, grin and bear it
Now who’s the king of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics?
Who could inherit the title, put the youth in hysterics
Usin’ his music to steer it, sharin’ his views and his merits?
But there’s a huge interference, they’re sayin’ you shouldn’t hear it
Maybe it’s hatred I spew, maybe it’s food for the spirit
Maybe it’s beautiful music I made for you to just cherish
But I’m debated, disputed, hated and viewed in America
As a motherfuckin’ drug addict, like you didn’t experiment?
Nah, nah, that’s when you start to stare at who’s in the mirror
And see yourself as a kid again, and you get embarrassed
And I got nothin’ to do but make you look stupid as parents
You fuckin’ do-gooders, too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage
And do you have any clue what I had to do to get here?
I don’t think you do, so stay tuned
And keep your ears glued to the stereo
‘Cause here we go, he’s Jigga, Jigga, Jih-Jigga
And I’m the sinister, Mr. Kiss-My-Ass is just a—”
A lot has been made of Em’s show-stealing performance on ‘Renegade’, which is officially a Jay Z track from The Blueprint (2001), although it is produced by Em and was originally created with himself and Royce Da 5’9 in mind. Contrary to popular belief, Jay actually performed remarkably on the song with two very good verses, but the circumstances were always in favour of Em who was as close to technically perfect as you’re likely to hear on his first verse.
50 Cent Ft. Eminem – Patiently Waiting
“If you’re patiently waitin’ to make it through all the hatin’
Debatin’ whether or not you can even weather the storm
As you lay on the table, they operatin’ to save you
It’s like an angel came to you, sent from the heavens above
They think they’re crazy, but they ain’t crazy
Let’s face it, shit, basically
They’re just playin’ sick, they ain’t shit
They ain’t sayin’ shit — spray ’em, 50!
A to the K, get in the way I’ll bring Dre and them with me
And turn this day into fuckin’ mayhem, you stayin’ with me?
Don’t let me lose you, I’m not tryna confuse you
When I let loose with this Uzi
And just shoot through your Isuzu
You get the message? Am I gettin’ through to you?
You know what’s comin’?
You motherfuckers don’t even know, do you?
Take some Big and some Pac and you mix ’em up in a pot
Sprinkle a little Big L on top, what the fuck do you got?
You got the realest and illest killers tied up in a knot
The juggernauts of this rap shit, like it or not
It’s like a fight to the top just to see who’d die for the spot
You put your life in this, nothin’ like survivin’ a shot
Y’all know what time it is, soon as 50 signs on this dot
Shit, what you know about death threats, ‘cause I get a lot
Shady Records was eighty seconds away from the towers
Some cowards fucked with the wrong building
They meant to hit ours
Better evacuate all children, it’s nuclear showers
There’s nothin’ spookier
You now about to witness the power of fuckin’ 50″
Similarly to ‘Renegade’, despite the lead emcee – in this case, 50 Cent – providing a memorable moment with his verse, Eminem refused to hold back when adding his contribution. Attempting to prepare listeners and the music industry for the impact 50 Cent was about to have, Em’s verse served as a perfect introduction to the forthcoming events.
Eminem – The Way I Am
“I sit back with this pack of Zig-Zag’s and this bag
Of this weed, it gives me the shit needed to be
The most meanest MC on this, on this earth
And since birth, I’ve been cursed with this curse to just curse
And just blurt this berserk and bizarre shit that works
And it sells and it helps in itself to relieve all this tension
Dispensing these sentences, getting this stress
That’s been eating me recently off of this chest
And I rest again peacefully
But at least have the decency in you
To leave me alone, when you freaks see me out
In the streets when I’m eating or feeding my daughter
To not come and speak to me, I don’t know you
And no, I don’t owe you a mothafuckin’ thing
I’m not Mr. N’Sync, I’m not what your friends think
I’m not Mr. Friendly, I can be a prick if you tempt me
My tank is on empty, no patience is in me
And if you offend me, I’m lifting you ten feet in the air
I don’t care who was there and who saw me just jaw you
Go call you a lawyer, file you a lawsuit
I’ll smile in the courtroom and buy you a wardrobe
I’m tired of all you, I don’t mean to be mean
But that’s all I can be, it’s just me”
‘The Way I Am’ is an exceptional song with three impressive verses, but the first, in particular, stands out. His chosen rhyme scheme is complex but executed astonishingly and like most of the verses on this list, the environment just seems supremely suited to Em’s style as an emcee and he duly obliges with an incredible performance. ‘The Way I Am’ is an instrumental that only he could have negotiated so expertly.
Eminem Ft. RBX & Sticky Fingaz – Remember Me
“When I go out, I’ma go out shootin’
I don’t mean when I die, I mean when I go out to the club, stupid!
I’m tryin’ to clean up my fuckin’ image
So I promised the fuckin’ critics
I wouldn’t say “fuckin'” for six minutes
(Six minutes, Slim Shady, you’re on!)
My baby’s mom, bitch made me an angry blonde
So I made me a song, killed her and put Hailie on
I may be wrong, I keep thinkin’ these crazy thoughts
In my cranium, but I’m stuck with a crazy mom
(Is she really on as much dope as you say she’s on?)
Came home and somebody musta broke in the back window
And stole two loaded machine guns and both of my trenchcoats
Sick, sick dreams of picnic scenes
Two kids, sixteen, with M-16’s and ten clips each
And them shits reach through six kids each
And Slim gets blamed in Bill Clint’s speech to fix these streets?!
Fuck that! Pbbt, you faggots can vanish to volcanic ash
And re-appear in hell with a can of gas and a match!
Aftermath, Dre, grab the gat! Show ’em where it’s at!
(What the fuck you starin’ at?!)”
The reason I’ve chosen this verse is slightly different to the others above. ‘Remember Me?’ is a track consisting of three equally outlandish emcees in RBX, Sticky Fingaz and, of course, Em. With that being the case, it would take something a bit extra from Slim Shady in order to not be tagged with the “killed on your own track” label, as the Dr. Dre instrumental lends itself to all of the emcee’s brash styles. Em delivers a prime, circa Marshall Mathers LP (2000) verse that is sprinkled with the sadistic humour that earned him praise and (unfair) criticism in equal measure.
Jay Z Ft. Eminem – Renegade
“See, I’m a poet to some, a regular modern-day Shakespeare
Jesus Christ, the king of these Latter-day Saints here
To shatter the picture in which of that as they paint me as
A monger of hate, satanist, scatter-brained atheist
But that ain’t the case, see, it’s a matter of taste
We as a people decide if Shady’s as bad as they say he is
Or is he the latter, a gateway to escape?
Media scapegoat who they can be mad at today
See, it’s as easy as cake, simple as whistlin’ Dixie
While I’m wavin’ the pistol at sixty Christians against me
Go to war with the Mormons, take a bath with the Catholics
In holy water, no wonder they tried to hold me under longer
I’m a motherfuckin’ spiteful, delightful eyeful
The new Ice Cube, motherfuckers hate to like you
What did I do? I’m just a kid from the gutter
Makin’ his butter off these bloodsuckers, ‘cause I’m a muh’fuckin’—”
As if one excellent verse on a Jay Z song wasn’t enough, Eminem matched it just moments later with his second verse on ‘Renegade’. Again, the word perfect comes to mind when you hear the way he manipulates his words to fit inside the confines of the instrumental, no syllable wasted. The conditions were ideal for Em to flourish.