Eminem: 50 Greatest Songs

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

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15. "'Till I Collapse" feat. Nate Dogg (2002)

Recorded circa "Lose Yourself," this standout from The Eminem Show was built around the beat from Queen's "We Will Rock You" and is, in many ways, a lyrical companion piece to 8 Mile's tale of trial and toil. "You gotta search within you/And gotta find that inner strength/And just pull that shit out of you," Em intones at the song's outset. But it is Eminem's ranking of the best all-time rappers, which comes halfway through the song, that made all the headlines. "I got a list … /It goes Reggie [a.k.a. Redman], Jay-Z, 2Pac and Biggie/Andre from Outkast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me." Chatter among pundits ensued, but Eminem was transparent about his respect for the genre's greats. "Being a student of hip-hop, in general, you take technical aspects from [different] places," he told Rolling Stone in 2013. "You may take a rhyme pattern or flow from Big Daddy Kane or Kool G Rap. But then you go to Tupac and he made songs. His fucking songs felt like something – "Holy shit! I want to fucking punch someone in the face when I put this CD in." Biggie told stories. I wanted to do all that shit. My goal … is to be technically able to satisfy every underground or every great rapper there is and also be able to try to incorporate it into a song. And make the song feel like something."

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