39. "Infinite" (1996)
The opening track of Eminem's 1996 indie-label debut establishes his bona fides as a skillful, complex rhymer who specializes in visceral, imagistic lyrics. "I travel through your mind and to your spine like siren drills/I'm slimin' grills of roaches, with spray that disinfects/And twistin' necks of rappers/'Til their spinal column disconnects," he snaps on the opening verse. Produced by D12's Denaun "Kon Artis" Porter, Eminem's voice has a more nasal timbre, balanced on a sumptuous sample of Les Baxter's "Hot Wind" from the 1969 bikesploitation flick Hell's Belles. "If you ever listen to Michael Jackson before he was Michael Jackson, or Prince, they were younger-sounding, but you can tell there's something there," Jeff Bass, one-half of the album's executive producers the Bass Brothers, told Rolling Stone. "When I hear Eminem from 20 years ago, I can hear Eminem today. I can hear the nuances in his tone, and his rhythm was insane, and this is him starting out as a kid. We recognized that there was something there that was special."