Eminem: 50 Greatest Songs

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

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8. "Just Don't Give a Fuck" (1997)

In the summer of 1998, when Aftermath/Interscope mailed out 12-inch promos of "Just Don't Give a Fuck" as the first single from Eminem's major-label debut, he was still a battle-rap rumor. This rowdy-rebel boast was the wider world's first brush with the wiseass white MC, who instantly tweaks our perceptions, tagging himself "Slim Shady," his sociopathic alter ego, in the first line. Soon after, there's a goofier intro – "My name is Marshall Mathers, I'm an alcoholic" – which spikes the mix with a third persona via his government name. This is the foundational head trip: Who is this person? Are all of these narrators unreliable? Though not the pop wallop of follow-up "My Name Is," "Just Don't Give a Fuck" was its own defining shot – more polished, scintillating and frisky than the version on 1997's Slim Shady EP (credit to executive producer Dr. Dre). It wildly sprays the sky, with the three-headed rapper waving "two Glocks, screamin' 'Fuck the world' like 2Pac." 

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