Eminem: 50 Greatest Songs

The best from the bloody, bombastic, brilliant career of the hip-hop troublemaker

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14. "Guilty Conscience" feat. Dr. Dre (1999)

"I remember Animal House when the girl passes out and the guy was about to rape her. He had a devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other saying don't do it," said Eminem, defending this song to the Los Angeles Times in 2010. "So, we did the same thing, only [with] a little more graphic detail." On one of the most compelling tracks from The Slim Shady LP, Eminem introduces three different characters in three increasingly toxic scenarios with Emimen and Dr. Dre playing the characters' good and bad consciences arguing with each other. The album version sounds like three creepy skits stitched together by voice-over, but the single version stacks three distinct eras of teenage desire: The chorus is inspired by the chaste yet spiritual "I Will Follow Him" by Sixties teenybopper Little Peggy March; Dre's beat jauntily interpolates Ronald Stein's "Pigs Go Home" from the Vietnam-era youth movie Getting Straight; while Dre and Em's lyrical interplay speaks to the increasingly jaded and cynical MTV generation. References to Son Doobie of Funkdoobiest's widely mocked foray into porn, the 1995 movie Kids and Dre's own history of assault complete a deft satire of violent male impulses.

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