The video to Eminem’s recent collaboration with Rihanna, “The Monster,” has been lighting up the Internet since it dropped at the start of this week. The flick features a frantic Em revisiting the peaks and valleys of his career while Rih Rih steps into the role of Slim Shady’s therapist. Straight-jackets also put in an appearance.
Eminem’s might have risen to success from the testosterone-filled underground battle rap arena, but he’s always been savvy enough to cozy up and collaborate with a number of female singers. Here’s a rundown of Slim Shady’s finest creative connections with the fairer sex — including a prior appearance from his favorite doctor.
“Won’t Back Down” claims a spot as one of the most defiant and rousing tracks from Eminem’s 2010 Recovery. It’s a song that’s in part fueled by Pink’s chorus duties, which have her trilling over a rugged production courtesy of DJ Khalil. It’s an all-around winning combination and one we’d be happy to see aired out again.
Atlanta rapper and guitar-strummer B.o.B helped cast himself as a new-generation rap superstar by teaming up with Paramore’s lead warbler for the anthemic “Airplanes.” Adding to the life of the song, Em hopped on to a second version of the track, with his high-strung and angst-infused vocals meshing emotively with Williams’ powerful hook.
“Stan” became one of Eminem’s most critically acclaimed mega-hits when it peaked during the 2000 holiday season. Slim Shady’s song-writing is tricksy and clever as he steps into the shoes of a crazed fan, but the emotional pull of the track is sparked by Dido’s melancholic singing — which was originally sampled from her own “Thank You” song. The rain sound effects that patter down in the background add to the “Stan” appeal.
Slim Shady’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has become one of the rap albums that define 2013 — but it’s the bonus version of the project that includes this mournful collaboration with Sia, “Beautiful Pain.” For his part, Eminem co-produces the song with Emile, and the low-key groove neatly pairs with the Australian singer and song-writer’s impassioned contribution.
5. Skylar Gray
Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor” is allegedly part of his almost mythical Detox album. He enlisted Skylar Grey’s honeyed vocals to open the dramatic track, and then coaxed Eminem into reciting an emotional rap confessional. Skylar’s melodramatic tone proves an astute blend with Em’s increasingly angry bars.
6. Liz Rodrigues
Liz Rodrigues claims a regular spot with the genre-meshing New Royales troupe, but she also has a regular co-feature relationship with going on with Em. Her voice perks up his current album track “Survival,” while she also stars on Slim Shady’s sentimental “25 To Life” track from Recovery as she sings about about being “caught in a change” as a relationship moves on around her.
“The Monster” is proving to be a gargantuan song, but Eminem and Rihanna have enjoyed a previous musical tryst as they holed-up in the studio together to record the equally anthemic “Love The Way You Lie” back in 2010. One of Slim Shady’s past creative conquests, Skylar Grey, actually co-wrote the song before Rih Rih stepped in to claim the chorus as her own. Call it a power move.
8. Dina Rae
“Superman” features Slim Shady in kinda creepy mode, as he kicks his game to a girl and talks about the salacious ways in which he can save her. It’s rumored that Em wrote the track about a relationship with Mariah Carey, but chorus duties go to Dina Rae for this one. Shortly after the song’s release in 2003, Dina was often brought out onstage to reenact a provocative rendition of the song with Slim.
9. Hailie Jade
Eminem’s daughter, Hailie Jade, has served as the inspiration for many of the rapper’s tracks — including an early track about taking her out for a leisurely car ride to dump his ex-wife’s body. It’s a bond that he’s also solidified by giving her a guest spot on “My Dad’s Gone Crazy” — a song sparked by a sample explaining how they’re going to talk about “father and daughter relationships.” For her part, Em’s progeny brings a bunch of suitably sassy ad libs to the song.