So, you think you’re an Eminem fan just because you memorized the first verse of “Lose Yourself”? Prepare to have your mind blown by these diabolically brilliant tracks that only our cover star‘s biggest fans know about.
“Infinite” (1996) Years before meeting Dr. Dre, Eminem recorded the Infinite LP for a local Detroit label in hopes of building his buzz. Virtually no one heard it at the time – it reportedly sold about a thousand copies. But his one-in-a-million lyrical skills were already there, as heard on the acrobatic title track: “Yo, my pen and paper cause a chain reaction/To get your brain relaxin’/The zany-actin’ maniac in action…”
“5 Star Generals” (1998) You know those super-deep tracks Stan mentioned to prove he was Em’s Number One fan-slash-stalker? This rugged posse cut – released by Brooklyn rapper Shabaam Sahdeeq and featuring a characteristically crazed guest verse from pre-stardom Eminem – is probably one of the things he was talking about.
“Any Man” (1999) This fiendish tune, recorded for underground mainstay Rawkus Records’ Soundbombing II compilation, features some of Em’s most provocative rhymes ever (“I hope God forgives me for my sins/It probably all depends on if I keep killing my girlfriends”). Depending on how you feel about over-the-top fictional violence, it’s either wickedly clever or incredibly offensive.
“Get You Mad” (1999) Recorded for a disc by Wake Up Show hosts Sway and King Tech (and also released as a Slim Shady LP bonus cut), “Get You Mad” is vintage Shady at his funniest and most ruthless. “If I hurt your self-esteem and you get dissed too bad, you know I just be saying that to get you mad,” Eminem taunts after calling out a long list of rival stars – including LL Cool J, Insane Clown Posse, Master P, Brandy, Aaliyah and more. Many more.
“Renegade” (Original version) (2001) You’ve probably heard the version of this track that came out on Jay Z’s landmark album The Blueprint – but true heads prefer the widely bootlegged original take, where Em trades the same mean-mugging verses with his hometown pal Royce da 5’9 instead of Jay. Eminem handily steals the spotlight on both songs.