Marshall Bruce Mathers III famous by his stage name Eminem, born on 17th October 1972, is an American songwriter, rapper, and record producer. He is typically the best-selling music artist of all time with over 220 million records sold. He is acclaimed as the best rapper of all time and credited for popularizing rap and hip-hop in general in Middle America. Eminem had a tough childhood marked by poverty and sexual abuse. At 14 years he began rapping in clubs in Michigan and his unexcused absence from school kept him in 9th grade for three years. Eminem quit school to pursue hip-hop music.
After his debut album Infinite and the extended play Slim Shady EP, Marshall signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment in 1997. He became popular in 1999. His albums The Marshall Mathers Lp and The Eminem Show were the catalyst to his fame and success. They were nominated for the Grammy Awards. From then Eminem hit the milestone in his music career and became a legend and king of hip-hop. Below are his top ten songs.
# 10 – Beautiful
“Beautiful” is a popular track by Eminem. A song he wrote while he was still addicted to prescription drugs was sorrowfully confronting his period with depression. The song includes a verse from “Reaching Out” by Queen and Paul Rodgers. Eminem balances his abhorrence towards society with his loving lyrical warmth to show how disappointed he was about his previous behaviors. When people thought that his track was goodbye to Eminem’s music career, it is typically his true comeback. Eminem said in an interview that he started writing the first and half of the second verse when he was going through detox. The track reminds him of what he had gone through and what he will never go back to.
“Beautiful,” is the fourth and also the final single from his sixth studio album Relapse. It was released on 11th August 2009. The hit peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 35 on the US Billboard Pop Songs.
# 9 – Infinite
“Infinite” was the opening track of this iconic artist’s 1996 indie-label debut. This song is very lively and interesting and you wouldn’t think it was recorded over 20 years ago. The opening verse will draw your attention. The tone and the musical beats are perfect.
Eminem is one guy who has amazing content and every word in his lyrics counts. When you listen to his songs 20 years ago, it is the same Eminem today and that’s something unique with him.
# 8 – Mockingbird
Eminem delivers this song in the best way possible and for that reason, it peaks at number eight on our list. This is the fifth single from his fifth studio album Encore. The track was released in April 2005 and peaked at number eleven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and position four in the United Kingdom.
In this track, Eminem talks about his two daughters Alaine Mathers and Hailie and speaks about the tough times in their family life. This is considered one of the most emotional songs by Eminem. In this hit, it is evident that Eminem had a rough upbringing as a kid and this went on to his family as well. Eminem describes how his wife was “distant” from the family and Eminem consoles his daughters by being a nice .dad.
# 7 – Love the Way You Lie
The collaboration between Eminem and the Barbadian singer Rihanna is one of its kind. Skylar Grey wrote and recorded part of the hit together with producer Alex da kid when it turned out that she was in an abusive-romantic relationship with music or rather the music industry.
With this background, Eminem took the track and wrote the verses for his Recovery album. He felt that only RiRi could bring the needed emotions and the hit became more explicitly about violence between two lovers. Eminem drew the experiences from his ex-wife while Rihanna drew memories from her then violent boyfriend Chris Brown. Eminem verse shows a troubled relationship but Rihanna’s chorus is the standout.
The song was a major hit and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks. It peaked at number seven for the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. This is an emotional song about love that you should listen to.
# 6 – Rap God
You will find few songs in modern history, defining an artist’s career as well as their legacy. This hit describes Eminem’s technical lyrical and vocal prowess of the track. To confirm this, the track entered the Guinness World Records for the single track with the most number of words, 1560 words precisely.
The song received positive reviews from music critics receiving much praise for his rapping ability. The track peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
# 5 – Kim
Choosing the final top five songs by Eminem was quite a challenge, but “Kim” deserves it. Eminem is undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of all time with an estimation of over 200 million album sales worldwide. Therefore, the track Kim peaking at number five on our list is a real gem.
Eminem, AKA the real “Slim Shady” is a good storyteller and he raps about his wife Kimberly- the mother of his daughter Hailie. The couple had a volatile relationship that ended in divorce in 2001 before reconciling again in 2006. After a short time, they split again. The point here is about true self (Marshall Mathers) and the dark or rather the volatile Shady who cannot control himself.
Eminem is very quick in his delivery and he does this flawlessly. However, in this song, his vocal performance is extremely aggressive shouting throughout. Although, I do not see this being bad since Shady is full of emotions due to issues with his wife. This track was ranked at number 21 on the list of 25 most violent rap music songs of all time.
# 4 – Cleanin Out My Closet
This track ” Cleanin Out My Closet” is remarkable. The song is the second single released from the album The Eminem Show in 2002 after the release of “Without Me” from the same album. This song by Slim Shady is very serious and inspired by Eminem’s childhood events and his relationships.
Eminem’s relationships including her mother have been worse. The song’s tone lowers when he raps “I’m sorry, mama” in the chorus. Finally, there is the climax betrayal when his mom according to shady tells him, “Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me?
Therefore, “Cleaning Out My Closet” is about Eminem’s tale of being sexually abused as a child. The song peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 US Hot Rap Songs
# 3 – Lose Yourself
This song had great lyrics and a stunning performance from Slim Shady that overshadowed all other rappers. This song was the biggest and one of the best hits of Eminem’s career. The track was the first rap hit to win the Academy Awards for the Best Original Song.
The song sums up Eminem’s character in the 8-mile movie with the first lines describing the major parts of the movie. The song features various themes majoring with the struggles experienced by B-Rabbit and how he overcame them to gain a reputation from other rappers.
This track was a great success and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles consecutively for twelve weeks. The track topped other charts in nineteen countries and according to various music critics, the song is Eminem’s best to date.
# 2 – The Real Slim Shady
Wow! I guarantee you that you will fall in love with this track from the first line. This song is unique and clearly shows what a legend Eminem is. The track is the lead single from his third studio album The Marshall Mathers LP released in 2000.
The hit was Shady’s first track to top in the United Kingdom. It also peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. On top of that, the song was the 14th best-selling in the United Kingdom in 2000. The track won multiple awards including Best Male Video, and Best Video; MTV Video Music Awards. It also won a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Solo Performance.
The music video features Slim Shady performing in a psychiatric ward, a fast food joint, and in a factory where numerous clones of him are produced.
# 1 – Stan
At the top of our Eminem songs list is this incredible hit by Eminem featuring vocals from Dido- a British singer. The hit was released as the third single from his third studio album Marshall Mathers. The song reached number one in various European countries including Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, and even Australia.
In the track, Eminem narrates the story of “Stan” a disturbed fan who religiously follows Eminem and later feels abandoned by him due to his unhinged ego. Later Eminem shows up to reply to the fan but it’s too late, he is already dead after a nasty accident. When Slim was interviewed about the track, he said it was a message to his fans not to take everything that he says literally, only most of the things. The song is really emotional and you should listen to it.
Eminem AKA Slim Shady is a legend when it comes to hip-hop music. Eminem’s great success is believed to have broken barriers for the inclusion or rather acceptance of white rappers in popular music. When listening to his music, you see the pure talent and the reason he started rapping in clubs from as young as 14 years. The above songs by Eminem will brighten your day. Enjoy!
Top 10 Eminem Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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