Rapper, producer, and actor Eminem also known by his “alter ego” Slim Shady is what the Rap game would consider a jack of all trades being able to not only skillfully rap circles around arguably any rapper, but also in the ways in which he masterfully produced hit tracks in a multitude of genres and artist. Some of this artist include Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent, TI, Rihanna, Missy Elliot and even Pink. Since the early 2000s, Eminem has been deemed one of the best-selling artists in the Hip Hop industry, being praised for his ability to have 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 charts and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. With US sales of 45.1 million albums and 42 million tracks sold, Eminem was named the second best-selling male artist in the united states, the sixth best-selling artist hip-hop artist Globally, with Rolling Stone, ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the King of Hip Hop.
While Eminem is currently a huge success it is important to note where his success began stemming from his debut album entitled Infinite in 1996. Followed by the Slim Shady EP in 1997, both projects lead to Eminem being signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. With this came mainstream popularity, especially in 1999 when the newly signed artist decided to drop his Slim Shady LP, as his way of letting the world know who he is and more importantly his alter ego “Slim Shady”. This project earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and really set his career to new heights. As the new millennium came near, Eminem debuted the project “Marshall Mathers LP” and “The Eminem Show”, which were both worldwide successes each being certified diamond in U.S. sales as well as winning Best Rap Album Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win the award for three consecutive LPs.
Eminem followed this Grammy streak in 2010 when Recovery became the best-selling album of the year being the second time he had the international best-selling album of the year title. In 2013 “Marshall Mathers LP 2”, won two more Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album. Which expanded his record for the most wins in that category more than anyone before him or after him making his Grammy total a whopping 15.
While it is clear that Eminem’s solos career has been a huge success when it comes to walking on guest features, Eminem takes the cake. His expert, lyrical precision and attention to detail have left artist off all genres scrambling to have his level of talent bless their track. Because of this popularity, Eminem has been deemed “the artist with the most features on countless top tracks” with mainstream artist such as 50 cents, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Pink, Ti, and Rhianna, all on his list
One of his earliest features was 1998 on a young Bizarre’s ‘Attack of the Weirdos’ EP, The song features Fuzz Scoota, who was in D12. Though the track itself was produced by DJ Head, a Detroit native who was Eminem’s tour DJ. Em walks on this track with his best line being “You need to be immediately treated while you breathin’ / Or you’ll be leavin’ the receivin’ room this evenin’ with Jesus.” This feature was one of the first to really put him on the map marking him as an artist to watch out for and because of the success of that track Em was asked to feature on Masta Ace track ‘Hellbound’ Feat. J. Black in 2001. Eminem had many times prior to the feature said that Masta Ace was a huge influence on his style, so working together was a milestone for Eminem. However what is most important is how well the two legends rap so effortlessly side by side on the track weaving in and out of the verses. Many say that during this age Shady was in his prime battle rap years, so securing this feature was a bit of a surprise, though even so the track was a definite success.
Eminem follow his extensive list of features in 2003 when he appears on ‘Go to Sleep’ Featuring DMX & Obie Trice with his Best Line being “There ain’t gonna be, no reasoning, speaking wit me / You speak on my seed, then me, no speak-a Ingles / So we gonna beef, and keep on beefing, unless / You’re gonna agree to meet with me in the flesh.” It is said that in this line Em is directly speaking to Jeffrey Atkins and Raymond Scott and was recorded during the beef with Ja Rule and Benzino. The track was certainly no joke especially with the pounding, gunfire baseline beat paired with Slim’s outright threats. All the of which made the track one the top diss tracks of all time.
Eminem tries something a bit different in 2005 when deciding to drop a few verses on Fat Joe ‘Lean Back Remix’ Feat. Mase & Lil’ Jon. On the track, em come out pretty hard with the line “You don’t want no drama with the blond bomber / Original Don Dada of the blond bottle, the model from White America.” And while the combination of each artist including Remy Ma was quite strange seeing as though they each have a strong lyrical presence the combination was still lethal! Making the track a hit during that era
In the same year Eminem goes back at it again with Bizarre on the track ‘Hip-Hop’ On the track Em begins to try out his storytelling ability which then becomes his specialty, taking us on a bit of a journey through his past, childhood, the Michigan law, how long it would take to get a firearm and how he couldn’t walk around without feeling a need to defend himself. Leading him to get a gun at a young age. He also speaks briefly about how hip-hop is often equated with violence and how much he tries to break away from that wanted young people to feel safe in their neighborhood. On this track his best line is arguably the verse “I’m triple platinum, I ain’t trying to catch no murder one / Figured I’d shoot to wound, probably miss with at least one”
2005 seemed to be a great year for Eminem, deciding to feature with mainstream hip hop artist 50 cent on the track “Batman and robbin” while the concept was a bit corny Em does his thing on the track as expected showcasing his unique flow. While the verse does sound almost like an unprepared freestyle making it a bit hard to process em still makes his presence known and remembered. His best line on this track would have to be “But let it be known there will be no sit downs with no Daves and ‘Zinos, there will be no peace discussions with me / There ain’t gonna be no friendly debates over crumpets and tea.” Since this first collab 50 cent (who admits Eminem is a mentor of is) and Eminem decide to go at a few more collaborations such as “Peep Show” which was an up-tempo club record, followed by “My Life” featuring Adam Levin which a kind pop-esk track, that 50 names his “comeback hit.” The streak of collabs with the two end with “Patiently Waiting” which managed to reach #56 on the hot 100 R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The duo has since released a few more collaborations making it quite clear that this matchup makes for pretty decent and rather successful singles.
While on the topic of continuous collaboration Eminem is known for making multiple tracks with pop artist Rhianna. Some of these include “Numb” and “love the way you lie”. “Numb” charted in several territories due to strong digital downloads, In the United States, the song also debuted at number 42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number 14 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs charts While “Love the Way You Lie” also received favorable reviews. New York Times writer Jon Caramanica considered it “one of the album’s most engaging songs” and praised Eminem’s ability to assess issues from the perspectives of both sexes.
Though Working with Rihanna was certainly not the first time Em has found great success working with a female artist, in 1999 he decide to work with Missy Elliot on the track “Busa Rhyme” the track became a huge success seeing as though Missy wisely decided to give over most of this track to the young rapper in an interview with Billboard. Missy says “I heard something of his and instantly told Tim[baland], ‘I need this guy on my album.’ Immediately when I heard him rap, I thought, ‘He’s special.’ I had the label reach out to [Dr.] Dre. He did (his verse). I heard it and thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to blow up!’” and she sure was right
As Eminem continued to gain success in the arena of collaborations he has worked rather closely with the Young Money team specifically Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj who hes each blessed with a few verses on their tracks. such as “Forever” by Drake featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne. “Drop the World” by Lil Wayne which served as the third single from Lil Wayne’s seventh studio album, Rebirth (2010). And Roman’s Revenge.” Where much like Em Nicki raps about her “crazy alter ego,” named Roman Zolanski, who takes over the track. Romans revenge wrote by Minaj, Eminem, Kaseem Dean and Trevor Smith, and produced by Swizz Beatz. Was a pretty big success and really propelled Nicki’s career.
Interestingly enough Eminem has not only stuck to hip-hop genre. Instead, he’s crept into the pop and alternative arenas a few times working with artist Pink on the track “Here Comes the Weekend” which was almost a hard rock track, and later “Airplanes” by B.O.B featuring Hayley Williams who is the lead singer of the rock band Paramore. Though this genre isn’t Eminem’s strong suit the track “airplanes” received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration although it was never officially made a single.
It is quite clear that Eminem is a master at his craft and has done exceptionally well at not only excelling on his own tracks but in the way he’s assisted other artist on their road to success and even grammy nominations. TI with his track “That’s All She Wrote” Yelawolf with “best friend” and Akon with “Smack That” have all reaped the benefits of Eminem’s lyrical expertise and it Is safe to say that Eminem’s style has certainly made a huge mark in the industry and paved the way for artist to come. – IornPEN