mario_06 (mario_06) wrote,

In honor of eminem's 40th bday!! Em's 40 best songs!

Wednesday marks Eminem’s 40th birthday, but don’t go calling the Detroit rapper over-the-hill just yet.

While 40 was once an unthinkable age for a rapper, Em finds himself in good company in the “40” club: Jay-Z is 42, Em’s mentor Dr. Dre is 47, and Nas, 39, will join next year.

We’re marking the milestone by ranking Em’s 40 best songs. The criteria: We culled only from his studio albums, ignoring leaks, mixtape tracks and other songs floating around the Internet. We included the “8 Mile” soundtrack and his Bad Meets Evil project, as well, but left off his collaborations on other artists’ albums, which we’ll mark with a separate list.

The list is purely subjective, but takes into account impact, legacy and chart power. To our surprise, Em’s 2010 “Recovery” album notched the most entries, with eight, but “The Marshall Mathers LP” ranked the highest, earning four slots in the Top 10.

Overall, compiling the list proved Eminem has amassed an impressive body of work and he’s truly worthy of being called one of hip-hop’s all time greats.

The full list is below. (Warning: Explicit lyrics in just about every song.)

40. “Stay Wide Awake” (from “Relapse”)
39. “Mockingbird” (“Encore”)
38. “Fast Lane” (“Hell: The Sequel”)
37. “Rock Bottom” (“The Slim Shady LP”)
36. “My 1st Single” (“Encore”)
35. “White Trash Party (W.T.P.)” (“Recovery”)
34. “You’re Never Over” (“Recovery”)
33. “Déjà vu” (“Relapse”)
32. “Rabbit Run” (“8 Mile” soundtrack)
31. “My Mom” (“Relapse”)
30. “Encore” (“Encore”)
29. “A– Like That” (“Encore”)
28. “White America” (“The Eminem Show”)
27. “Not Afraid” (“Recovery”)
26. “Lighters” (“Hell: The Sequel”)
25. “Cold Wind Blows” (“Recovery”)
24. “Business” (“The Eminem Show”)
23. “Drug Ballad” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)
22. “3 a.m.” (“Relapse”)
21. “Won’t Back Down” (“Recovery”)
20. “So Bad” (“Recovery”)
19. “Criminal” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)
18. “Square Dance” (“The Eminem Show”)
17. “My Dad’s Gone Crazy” (“The Eminem Show”)
16. “Kill You” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)
15. “Love the Way You Lie” (“Recovery”)
14. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” (“The Eminem Show”)
13. “Without Me” (“The Eminem Show”)
12. “Guilty Conscience” (“The Slim Shady LP”)
11. “No Love” (“Recovery”)

10. “8 Mile” (“8 Mile” soundtrack)

Overshadowed by “Lose Yourself,” “8 Mile” is the unheralded gem of the “8 Mile” soundtrack, an in-character missive about the struggles he faced to make it in the rap game.

9. “My Name Is” (“The Slim Shady LP”)

The world’s introduction to Eminem, Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers established him as a pop-culture skewering psychopath with serious parental issues who could out-shock anyone put in front of him. Beyond that, it established his penchant for bizarre, complicated rhyme schemes (“extraterrestrial running over pedestrians”) and showed he was an MC first and foremost.

8. “Mosh” (“Encore”)

A pointed jab at George W. Bush, “Mosh” came out a few weeks before the 2004 election and found Eminem at his most political, slowing down his flow to make sure each word landed like a death blow.

7. “The Way I Am” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)

So, how did Eminem enjoy the success of “The Slim Shady LP?” “I’m so sick and tired of being admired that I wish that I would just die or get fired,” Em seethes on this livid track from “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which acts as a bitter indictment of fame and the media spotlight.

6. “Till I Collapse” (“The Eminem Show”)

This “Eminem Show” cut has thematic similarities to “Lose Yourself” and an infectious militaristic stomp, and is hammered home by Nate Dogg’s confident chorus. Despite never being released as a single, the song has sold 2 million digital copies, in part because of its popularity in movie trailers (“Real Steel,” “Savages,” etc.).

5. “The Real Slim Shady” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)

The song that marked Eminem’s pop peak and cemented him as a cultural force. The references are now dated — Tom Green, anyone? — but “The Real Slim Shady” is Eminem the celeb-skewer at his finest.

4. “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” (“The Slim Shady LP”)

This track — where Em calmly describes the murder of his daughter’s mother to his baby girl — established the bond between Eminem and his daughter, one of the most important themes in his work, and also proved Em to be both a scary-good storyteller and a good scary story teller.

3. “Stan” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)

A story of demented fandom told from the prospective of an obsessed fan over three increasingly hostile verses and closing with a measured response from Em, “Stan” is a triumph of conceptual storytelling and one of Em’s most impressive efforts both as a rapper and a producer. It also helped break the career of Dido, whose tender “Thank You” forms the unlikely backbone of this dark, moody tale.

2. “Kim” (“The Marshall Mathers LP”)

A disturbing, shockingly violent murder fantasy that is the rawest, angriest song Eminem has ever recorded. It also contains his most complex, intricate rhymes ever; when he lays out the particulars of a grisly crime scene, he does so with a clarity and attention to detail that would make a “Law & Order” screenwriter proud. Truly haunting.

1. “Lose Yourself” (“8 Mile” soundtrack)

Eminem’s Oscar-winning masterpiece, “Lose Yourself” represents the peak of Em’s artistry and songwriting. Rousing and inspirational, it has become hip-hop’s “Eye of the Tiger”; listen closely and you can hear Em taking deep breaths between each line, as if he was losing himself in the music while recording. It worked; mom’s spaghetti hasn’t been the same since.


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  • (no subject)

    Bloopers from the Shady Records documentary Watch it and embrace it tbh Bloopers from the Shady Records documentary Watch it and embrace it tbh…

  • (no subject)

    Bloopers from the Shady Records documentary Watch it and embrace it tbh Bloopers from the Shady Records documentary Watch it and embrace it tbh…

  • Release date for headlights video

    On my bday too! I'm going to be crying buckets cuz I'm already emotional on mothers days. Ugh sneaky em! I'm excited though. It's suppose to be a…

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