Eminem: 50 Greatest Songs

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

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38. "Stimulate" (2002)

An underrated gem, "Stimulate" appeared as a bonus track on the 8 Mile soundtrack, overshadowed by the more explicitly inspirational maxims of "Lose Yourself." "Stimulate" methodically reflects the approach and attitude underpinning Eminem's complex, singular human experience, conveying that sober message with the vitality of his comic rants. It's a sound of regret and confidence, depletion and resolve, uncertainty and power, swirling in an unsteady cocktail. Rather than escalating any one mood, the song stays dysphoric and ambiguous. The woozy, flanging guitar tone and overall production suggests a sedated edginess, as Eminem's voice shows signs of cracking. The sonic unease contradicts Em's lyrics – "I'm just partying," the Slick Rick-referencing "I'm just a man who's on the mic" – as if he were recognizing that the expressive form he once loved had become its own kind of cage.

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