Eminem, real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has been laying down beats since the age of 14 and continues to do so to this day, with new songs hopefully coming in the near future. And with such an extensive discography, everyone’s bound to have their favorites; the Internet is just full of Eminem top song lists. Well, we’re going to throw our two cents in with our own ranking. In no particular order, here are our picks for the top 10 songs by Eminem.
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1. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” (The Eminem Show, 2002): The lyrics of The Eminem Show’s second single, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” dealt with a serious issue for Eminem: his feelings towards, and treatment by, his mother. A later song, 2014’s “Headlights,” would serve as his apology for comments he made about her in this and other tracks.
2. “The Way I Am” (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000): One of Eminem’s best songs on a common topic—his reaction to his own fame—the honest lyrics and ability to go from rapping to other, less musical forms of expression make this one to remember. It also helps that it’s one of his “meaner” songs, going off on people he feels have wronged him and his career.
3. “Forgot About Dre (2001, 2000): Granted, this one is kind of cheating, as it’s really a Dr. Dre song; Eminem is simply featured on vocals. However, Eminem makes the track his own, stealing the spotlight.
4. “Sing for the Moment” (The Eminem Show, 2002): A commentary on rap’s public influence (particularly how he’s viewed by detractors, namely critics and parents), this song is a little heavier on the guitar than others. It’s also notable for its use of a sample of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
5. “Guilty Conscience” (The Slim Shady LP, 1999): The reverse of “Forgot About Dre,” this time Dre is featured on an Eminem track in a rap battle for the ages. Staged as a morality play, Dre is the thematic angel on a man’s shoulder. On the other shoulder? Eminem’s comedic dark alter ego, Slim Shady.
6. “My Name Is” (The Slim Shady LP, 1999): Speaking of Slim Shady, this is the single that introduced the character to the world. It’s also one of the more infamous tracks, having been rewritten twice—once for homophobic lyrics and once so it wasn’t the most censored song in radio history. It’s also the track that led to Eminem’s own mom suing him for $10 million for slander.
7. “Without Me” (The Eminem Show, 2002): This is one of Eminem’s most successful and well-known songs, and with good reason. Referencing himself and mocking others, the beat and lyrics have made it a fan-favorite.
8. “Stan” (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000): The story of an obsessive fan, the lyrics are actually presented as a series of letters to and from the rapper that get progressively darker. Viewed by many as being more poetry than rap, the track is considered one of Eminem’s most important.
9. “Rap God” (The Marshall Mathers LP 2, 2013): One of Eminem’s best new songs, “Rap God” is a sort of throwback to his earlier style. The lyrics are more thematically loose than the other songs on this list, but the rapper shows no slowdown from all those years ago.
10. Lose Yourself (8 Mile soundtrack, 2002): The main track from Eminem’s first major foray into film, both 8 Mile and this song received unanimous appraisal upon release. Even now, this forceful track is considered by many to be one of Eminem’s best songs, if not the best, and has reached quintuple platinum status.