Eminem: 50 Greatest Songs

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

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49. "I'm Back" (2001)

"I'm Back" would appear high on a list of the most controversial Eminem songs: Even on the uncensored version of The Marshall Mathers LP, the rapper's reference to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting – "I take seven [kids] from [Columbine], stand 'em all in line/Add an AK-47, a revolver, a 9/A MAC-11 and it oughta solve the problem of mine/And that's a whole school of bullies shot up all at one time" – was bleeped out. Years later, Eminem got the last word, re-rapping the original line on "Rap God" from The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

But the track's potency is barely impacted by the censorship, especially in the masterful first verse, which is giddy and assonance-heavy. "I used to give a fuck, now I could give a fuck less," Eminem raps. "What do I think of success? It sucks, too much press/I'm stressed, too much sess, depressed/Too upset, it's just too much mess, I guess." Jay-Z later paid homage by borrowing this structure on his 2007 track "Success."

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