1. Rap God
This track includes more of a trap feel to it than most of the other songs produced by Eminem. But for us, it’s the speed he raps at that is astonishing. At one point, he produces 97 words in just 15 seconds, and that in itself means this track should make it onto our list.
2. Lose Yourself
This gritty song has a thumping beat to perfectly balance out the harsh lyrics that permeate the track. It even won Eminem an Oscar, and you can understand why. It’s going to jangle your nerves with the guitars, his lyrics will hit home hard, and the dark, moody feel to the entire track will hang over you like a cloak. From a technical perspective, many see this as his best song, and it’s undoubtedly going to sit with you forever as you listen to its haunting message surrounding some harsh aspects of life.
3. The Way I Am
This is another early single by Eminem, and it was completely different in its approach to My Name Is, which preceded it. The stand-out part here is the flow, but it’s because it is deliberately not as smooth as expected. It has a roughness to it, and it sways and moves in ways you wouldn’t expect. This is a challenging song to pull off, and yet he does it with absolute style.
This track is haunting, and the addition of Dido to the song further adds to that feeling. It’s dark and oppressive, which is a feeling further enhanced by the sudden and dramatic ending to the track. Emotional and raw, this song encourages you to explore the darker side of humanity.
5. My Name Is
With a distinctive beat that repeats throughout the song, this was the track that opened up Eminem to a broader audience around the world. It focuses on how he sees his own identity, and the jolting nature of the track constantly shakes you into paying attention to what he has to say about it all.
6. The Real Slim Shady
Is this the best song he has ever produced? Many will say so, as he lets rip with his tongue while firing out his thoughts and feelings at a breathtaking speed. But the verses also show a complexity of thought that’s often missed. The beat also lifts this track to new heights with the ability to add a depth of feeling to the song that would have otherwise been lacking.
7. Guilty Conscience
This is a stand-out track as both Eminem and Dr. Dre fight against one another throughout the song. It allows both artists to display their talents and boy, do they do that. It’s gritty, and the way it uses Dr. Dre with his laid-back, almost relaxed delivery in contrast to Eminem spitting out his lines has made this an all-time classic rap track.
8. Cleanin’ Out My Closet
This song is quite haunting in its approach. It sways between aspects of anger and more introspective, but Eminem will simply spit out his lyrics with nothing more than brutal honesty. He tells you all about how he feels toward his mother, and it’s not good, but the way he pulls the track together is outstanding.
The pace in this track is slightly subdued compared to most of his work, but that’s because Eminem tries to bring in something of a lullaby quality to parts of the song. It’s all about his daughter, and you can feel a lot of pain in the lyrics. It’s touching, and his delivery is astonishing.
For us, Soldier gives you both sides of the emotional coin to contend with. First, you have the anger and rage in Eminem as he fires out bars. Next, you have the beats that are more laid-back and calm in nature, and yet it all works as he deals with complex subjects in this track.
11. Till I Collapse
The vibe and energy that burst through this song are outstanding. The lyrics are on point, the beat is strong, and even the backing vocals add some raw emotion to what is already one of the best songs he has ever produced. This track pulsates and will infect your every pore.
The track comes in with a substantial beat, and it remains solid throughout. Also, we think Eminem does his usual amazing style regarding the delivery of the lyrics. It’s intended to be provocative, and it manages to do that with absolute ease.
13. Talkin’ 2 Myself
This song is quite personal for Eminem, and that adds a different slant to the entire track. It’s deep and meaningful, and while the hook is perhaps not his best, it still pulls you in and gets you to sit down and listen to him. This is dark, with punches of anger mixed in to indicate the disappointment he feels about certain things.
14. When I’m Gone
We included this track as it’s more of a ballad than anything else, and that’s unusual from Eminem. But don’t think he has gone soft as it still packs a punch in his delivery, and even though his flow is steady, he will still push across his message. It’s packed full of emotion, and he’s not afraid to show it.
15. The Monster
From a rap perspective, this is one of his best tracks. He samples some pop motifs to add a different slant to the song, yet he flows effortlessly through his lines. The track’s construction is out of this world, with enough jarring vibes to make you sit up and take notice.
16. My Fault
The rapper burst into this track with the intention of having a whole lot of fun. It’s full of jokes and is more light-hearted than most of his songs. This is Eminem flowing with so much freedom that the words just rattle off his tongue with so much ease that it feels all sort of chilled. If you have never heard of this track before, then change that as soon as possible.
17. Role Model
It becomes clear in this track that Eminem has a whole lot of contempt and disgust for pretty much everything in life. Yet, he doesn’t tell this in a depressing way. Instead, he delivers in a forceful and determined way that makes you stop and think. Also, the inclusion of guitars in this song adds a new layer often missing in his tracks.
18. White America
Eminem dives into the world of politics in this track, and it’s as if he throws some explosives into the arena and steps back to watch the fallout. He displays his anger at aspects of the government via carefully balanced bars and the perfect beat to accompany everything he is feeling at the time.
19. Say What You Say
This diss track includes all the elements you would expect from Eminem in this situation. It’s full of barbed lyrics as he displays his full anger and disgust at Jermaine Dupri and The Source magazine, and to say he rips into both is an understatement. And yet, at the same time, he shows control over his lyrics with his customary careful flow.
20. Evil Deeds
Perhaps the best word we can use to describe this song is “hectic,” as it feels as if Eminem is trying to cover as many subjects and feelings as possible in a few minutes. He delves into stories about his childhood and the horrible things that happened, meaning so many people will relate to various aspects. He does this with the right amount of anger, while the thumping beat helps give off that powerful vibe throughout.
21. Love Game
The flow in this track takes you back to more old-school Eminem, and that’s actually great to hear. The song also features Kendrick Lamar, and the two bounce off one another with ease. But be aware that this track is not as gritty as you may expect from the two of them. However, it still packs a substantial amount of anger and emotion about personal relationships that will resonate with so many people listening to what they have to say.
22. Like Toy Soldiers
This song is deep and nasty in its lyrics. Yet both the beat and hook you get here are outstanding and help pull you in as Eminem enters into some of his best storytelling lyrics. The track is packed full of so much atmosphere that you have to be drawn into it even when you resist. As a result, he manages to produce more emotion than you thought possible in just a few minutes.
The thing that stands out here is the hook in the track. It’s the one thing that elevates this song to an above-average level. The lyrics are what you expect from Eminem, with him throwing out his thoughts with a degree of aggression. Also, don’t forget the instrumentals. They add a balance to the track as well, and overall, this is a slightly forgotten song that deserves more recognition.
24. Without Me
This must be one of the most fun tracks Eminem has ever produced. He jokes along throughout while still getting his point across. Also, the beats pack even more of that fun energy into the song, making you feel like you are bouncing around while he raps about different subjects. As is the norm, his flow is perfect and works in synchronicity with the beat.
25. Shake That
This track is often under-valued for the skill Eminem displays throughout. For us, that’s not the case. Instead, we love how this song shows a tremendous amount of creativity mixed in with gorgeous beats to add to the overall feel of the track. He pumps out his lines with ease delivering his point in a direct style.
26. Deja Vu
One thing we love about this song is that it’s almost hypnotic and pulls you into a trance-like state throughout. This is fantastic storytelling through rap, and the way Eminem delivers bars in the song while even talking about his own addiction is moving.
From the Relapse album, this track involves Eminem slowing things down from his usual frantic pace. The aggression is missing here, and there’s more of a softer flow to his delivery. It’s just intriguing to hear him using this style, as it’s so different from his usual approach.
28. Just Lose It
This song saw something of a return for Eminem to his earlier roots, and it means this track is packed full of fun. He really plays around with imagery, while it’s also not one of his more aggressive songs. It’s something of a cool introduction to this rapper, in our opinion.
29. Love the Way You Lie
Eminem appears to open up in this track and talk about things he’s failed to do or where he has screwed up. It’s slightly introspective in its approach, and then there’s a massive hook incorporated into the song by Rihanna, and who could forget that?
30. ’97 Bonnie & Clyde
This track is something of a contradiction. It contains some hairy lyrics, and yet the beat that accompanies it encourages you to sort of chill out. This is Eminem playing with emotions and feelings while getting something off his chest, and it works exceptionally well in this song.
If you want to hear a song where Eminem really talks about himself and what he has done in life, then this is the track for you. There’s not much else to it, but the lyrics and his flow remain as good as ever, even if he is just telling you all about his greatness.
32. Brain Damage
This song is quite dark, but it’s also heartbreaking at the same time. It discusses violence, and once again, Eminem displays his anger at the subject throughout. This is him telling part of his own story about being bullied and violently abused in his childhood. The track is designed to teach you so much about the rapper, and it certainly excels at doing that.
33. The Ringer
Eminem stresses his disappointment at the rap world in this song, and he pulls no punches. He comes across as seriously fired up in this track, and it’s almost as if he has gone back to his old self from 20 years before. He spits out his thoughts with a monster beat that will leave you wanting more.
34. Not Afraid
This song from 2010 became a huge hit, and for a good reason. The chorus pulls you in, and you feel you can even take part in the track thanks to the hook. The rapper is strong throughout, spitting out his lyrics and making sure you know exactly how he feels.
35. Don’t Front
This song is overlooked by many, and that’s a shame. The hook here is fantastic, and the verses are busy throughout. Eminem rattles through his lyrics with style and raw power, and the crazy thing is that this was just a B-side track, as it deserves so much more.
36. Stay Wide Awake
This song is seriously dark, but look beyond the lyrics for a second and appreciate how the strong is constructed. The rhymes he creates throughout the track drag you along as he delves into some horrible subjects. This is mean and moody Eminem at his best if you can stand the subjects.
Eminem once again showcases his anger at the world in this track as he cuts through the lyrics with razor-like precision. This is more of a hyper-animated song that would set the standard for other artists to follow, but nobody can do it as well as him, as this ferocious track shows.
38. If I Had
We had to include this song as it gives the impression of Eminem being more dejected than you will ever hear. It provides a more melancholy feel to the track with the feeling he is holding back on things when you just want him to let rip. But that feeling and expectation keep you coming back for more.
39. I’m Back
This song showcases Eminem at his provocative best. He wasn’t afraid to say anything back when starting out, and this track is one of those examples. Casting himself as the villain, he throws out his thoughts like a machine gun with enough of a smirk to give you a sense of what he’s really thinking. It’s a brilliant song.
40. Rock Bottom
Eminem turns all insightful with this track as he takes you down the dark road of what his life was like at this time. He turns the spotlight onto himself, and it’s an unpleasant place to be, and yet he manages to guide you through his life even though you feel bruised after the experience.
41. Remember Me?
The rawness of this track helps it stand out, and this rapper delivers enough edge through his lyrics that it leaves your spine-tingling. We love how you get the feeling of Eminem becoming more unhinged as each verse progresses, resulting in a crescendo of emotion and anger.
This track has one major positive thing surrounding it: it’s catchy. There’s also a sense of sleaziness behind the lyrics, while Eminem maintains close control of his flow while delivering his thoughts. It’s almost like a club song in a sense, but then he brings you back into focus and into his world of rap.
43. Forget About Dre
This song appeared on the Dr. Dre album, but Eminem plays such an integral role that the track would be dead without him. Its grittiness and fast lyrics add a real depth to the song while the flow is smooth and effortless. The balance between these two is perfect, resulting in an unforgettable track.
44. We As Americans
The rhyme and flow in this song are better than most from the Encore album, and it’s one of the stand-out tracks. It just feels as if Eminem has stopped repeating himself in this song, as he does in the rest of the album, and his ferocity in spitting out his lines will blow you away.
45. Square Dance
We included this as it shows this rapper really experimenting with sounds and playing around, which is great to listen to. There’s almost a feeling of transcendence with this track, and yet he manages to maintain just enough control to pull you back to him rather than allowing you to float away into your own world. It’s different and shows Eminem exploring the boundaries of what’s possible with rap.
Barry has worked as a freelance writer for over a decade and has developed an eye for detail when it comes to unearthing cool and interesting facts.
His love of music stems from his student days checking out up and coming bands playing in the darkest corners of bars and clubs in Edinburgh.
The love of uncovering something new also remains with him. With an appreciation for music that’s best described as eclectic, his musical tastes range from Eric Clapton to Eminem through to Snow Patrol and Incubus. The memories that music can bring back to the fore is something he tries to portray in his writing.
For him, the voyage of discovery and unearthing something new is what makes this task of writing for MusicGrotto.com so interesting.