By Chris Yuscavage
Eminem knows how to steal a show.
Don’t believe it? Just take a listen to “Roman’s Revenge,” the latest leak from Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday, and see Em’s talent for yourself. Although Nicki runs through a range of different voices, drops some pretty impressive bars and even takes a few subliminal shots at a certain female rapper, the Detroit MC still manages to rap circles around the Harajuku Barbie by tapping his Slim Shady alter ego.
“Yeah, look who’s back again, bitch keep actin’ as if you have the passion as I have/Yeah right, still hungry, my ass/You ass d—- had gastric bypass,” he raps.
Ouch. Em’s made verses like this a habit throughout his career. Though he’s earned the respect of the mainstream audience with his solo albums, he’s earned the respect of his peers by competing toe-to-toe on songs and spitting spectacular guest verses. In honor of his latest, and the fact that Keyshia Cole wants to work with him—’Love The Way You Lie III”?—RapFix collected 10 of his best guest verses through the years. Take look at Slim Shady as he steps into the spotlight.
The Song: Missy Elliott’s “Busa Rhyme,” from 1999’s Da Real World
The Show-Stealing Lines: “I’m bringin’ you rap singers two middle fingers/I’ll flip you off in French, then translate it in English/Then I’ma vanish off the face of the planet and come back speakin’ so much Spanish, Pun can’t even understand it”
The Reaction: Um, did he really just say that?!? At the height of the Slim Shady era, Em teamed up with Missy for her Da Real World album and dropped a bunch of bars that were, quite simply, out of this world.
The Song: Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre,” from 1999’s 2001
The Show-Stealing Lines: “So what do you say to somebody you hate?/Or anybody tryin’ to bring trouble your way/Wanna resolve things in a bloodier way/Just study your tape of N.W.A.”
The Reaction: Em stole the show not once, but twice on his mentor’s sophomore album. He did it here and on the aggressive “What’s The Difference” as well. And we haven’t forgotten either.
The Song: Notorious B.I.G.’s “Dead Wrong,” from 1999’s Born Again
The Show-Stealing Lines: “There’s several different levels to devil worshippin’, horses heads/Human sacrifices, cannibalism, candles and exorcism/Animals havin’ sex with ’em/Camels, mammals and rabbits/But I don’t get into that, I kicked the habit”
The Reaction: Em’s verse really was dead wrong. On so, so, so many levels.
The Song: Redman’s “Off The Wall,” from the 2000 soundtrack, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
The Show-Stealing Lines: “Beware of this rap terrorist with a therapist/With a hair up his ass like a rabbit crawled in his pants/Gotta have it, hold Tylenol in his hands/’Til it melts in his f—ing palms and dissolves in his glands”
The Reaction: They actually let these two create a song for … a soundtrack?!
The Song: Jay-Z’s “Renegade,” from 2001’s The Blueprint
The Show-Stealing Lines: “I’m a poet to some, a regular modern-day Shakespeare/Jesus Christ, the king of these Latter-Day Saints here/To shatter the picture in which of that as they paint me/As a monger of hate and Satan, a scatter-brained atheist”
The Reaction: Wow. It’s no secret that this is easily Em’s best guest verse to date (sorry, Hov!). However, it’s amazing that nearly ten years after it dropped, it still sounds as good as it did back then. He’s a renegade, for real.
The Song: 50 Cent’s “Patiently Waiting,” from 2003’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’
The Show-Stealing Lines: “Take some B.I.G. and some ’Pac/And you mix them up in a pot/Sprinkle a little Big L on top/What the f— do you got?/You got the realest and illest killers tied up in a knot/The juggernauts of this rap s—/Like it or not”
The Reaction: Aside from producing “Patiently Waiting,” Em also showed love to some of hip-hop’s greats as he traded verses with the red-hot 50 Cent back in ’03.
The Song: Obie Trice’s “We All Die One Day,” from 2003’s Cheers
The Show-Stealing Lines: “I’m Slim Shay-D/The “D” is for “deez” nutz/And you can get each one for free so feast up/I pee in a cup for three months/I’m having an E party for Easter, please come!”
The Reaction: Man, does anyone free associate as well as Em? Wayne’s certainly in contention, but it’s hard to follow exactly how Shady is able to come up with some of these lines, right?
The Song: Fat Joe’s “Lean Back (Remix),” from 2005’s All or Nothing
The Show-Stealing Lines: “Shake that ass a little more my way, but baby I don’t dance/Not that I can’t, it’s just that there’s a pistol in my pants”
The Reaction: Overall, this wasn’t one of Em’s greatest guest verses. He basically name-dropped a few different parts of NYC and shouted out the other guests on the remix. But, then, well, he dropped this gem on his way out. Well played, Slim, well played.
The Song: Drake’s “Forever,” from 2009’s soundtrack, Music Inspired by More Than a Game
The Show-Stealing Lines: “I’m Hannibal Lecter, so just in case you’re thinking of saving face/You ain’t gonna have no face to save by the time I’m through with this place”
The Reaction: By using a double-time flow over the Boi-1da-produced beat, Em sounded different than any of the other guests on this song, including LIl Wayne and Kanye West. Some people loved it, others didn’t. But it’s hard to deny the fact that it definitely stood out and left an impression.
The Song: B.o.B’s “Airplanes, Part II,” from 2010’s B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
The Show-Stealing Lines: “Alright, let’s pretend Marshall Mathers never picked up a pen…”
The Reaction: Ah, remember when Em used to jump on songs and completely rip them to pieces? He didn’t do that here. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What he did was break down the story of his rap career to fit B.o.B’s “Airplanes” theme. Pretty fly.
What is your favorite Eminem guest verse of all-time? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!