The rapper continues to be inspirational.
As Eminem finds himself caught up in more hip hop controversy, we reflect on all the times he's inspired fans and peers alike. He might not be perfect, but his rap art has had an important impact on the genre whatever anybody has to say about his later albums.
Here are the ten most inspirational lines from Eminem's back catalogue:
Eminem at the premiere of 'Southpaw'
1. 'A normal life is boring, but super stardom's close to post-mortem' (Lose Yourself)
Probably one of Eminem's most inspirational tunes, from his film '8 Mile', this line has a double meaning. The first suggestion is that while an ordinary life may be boring, fame gets progressively harder. On the other hand, super-stardom immortalizes its subjects, and dead stars always live on in history.
2. 'I maybe made some mistakes/ But I'm only human, but I'm man enough to face 'em today' (Cleanin' Out My Closet)
He's well aware that he's far from perfect; from the offensive things he says in his lyrics to more than one assault and weapons charge; but he's not about to deny them or make excuses. He always addresses his shortcomings in his music, and this song is but one example.
3. 'I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley/ To do black music so selfishly/ And use it to get myself wealthy' (Without Me)
Comparing himself to Elvis sounds crazy when you consider they are on opposite ends of the musical spectrum, but their similarities are many. They might both have been accused of appropriating black culture, but their popularisation of it can also be seen as having paved the way for the future success of the genres by never denying their roots.
4. 'I am whatever you say I am/ If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?' (The Way I Am)
He has been called a lot of things in his 20+ year career. The media has branded him misogynistic, homophobic and everything else you can possibly think of. And if you get accused of something in the media, that becomes the image everybody sees even if it's not true. He also pays homage to Rakim with the latter half of the lyric.
5. 'There's a million of us just like me/ Who cuss like me, who just don't give a f**k like me' (The Real Slim Shady)
There are many interpretations to this line from his 'The Marshall Mathers LP'. Some think it's a reference to where society is moving toward in that time, and others think that while he gets criticism everyday, there are ordinary people doing exactly the same as him and aren't the subjects of controversies.
6. 'Their loyalty to us is worth more then any award is' (Like Toy Soldiers)
It might seem ironic given his current situation with Machine Gun Kelly, but this is all about how hip hop beef should never get too personal because people end up getting killed over it and that's the last thing he wants to see happen. What people should be rapping about is their friends behind-the-scenes who stand up for them during these times. Friends from their humble beginnings that will build them up more than any Grammy can.
7. 'You're pointless as Rapunzel with f**king cornrows/ You write normal, f**k being normal' (Rap God)
It doesn't matter what anyone says, Eminem is never going to conform to any rap standard out there. The fairytale reference touches on the theme of timelessness; a status that he has no doubt achieved in his career as a modern Shakespeare.
8. 'Don't ever let no one tell you, you ain't beautiful' (Beautiful)
He self-produced this track from his 'Relapse' album, and it was something he was writing before, during and after his stint in rehab. This was the last line of the song where he's telling everyone to be proud of who they are no matter what they're going through.
9. 'I'm breaking out of this cage/ I'm standing up, I'mma face my demons/ I'm manning up' (Not Afraid)
There are plenty of lines like this in Eminem's back catalogue; lines about facing up to your problems and indeed admitting your own flaws. This is all about letting go of the past and not giving in to the easy way out. It's taken him a long time to get to that position, but maturity has brought him strength.
10. 'Everything you're scared to say don't be afraid to say no more' (Guts Over Fear)
A sentiment that all people should listen to. Anyone who considers themselves an outsider like Eminem used to be ought to know that their unconventional ideas have a place in the world even if nobody around them accepts them. If he can make it, anyone can.
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