(AllHipHop News) Eminem has been called one of the greatest lyricists in Hip Hop history, so who better to annotate his songs on Genius.com than Slim Shady himself. The Detroit rhymer joined the website and decoded some of his classic tracks as well as cuts from the Shady family. Em also shared his thoughts on the current battle rap scene.
[ALSO READ: 50 Cent Talks His New Track With Eminem (VIDEO)]
Read some of Em’s Genius.com annotation’s below.
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) April 2, 2015
Eminem’s “Stan” featuring Dido:
When I heard “your picture on my wall,” I was like “Yo, this could be about somebody who takes me too seriously.” So I knew what I was going to write about before I wrote it. A lot of times when I’m writing songs, I see visions for everything I’m writing. This was one of those.
I remember Mark The 45 King sent me that beat. And when I first heard it, I was like, “Holy s*8t.” But I didn’t know it was going to be so big. When I was writing it, I just thought, “Whoa, people are going to get sick of this because it goes on for so long.”
Eminem’s “My Name Is”:
“My Name Is” was the first thing that came out of my mouth that first day I was at Dre’s house. I don’t know if we released what I did the first day or if I re-did it, but it was basically the same. I didn’t understand punching, or believe in it. So I would just go from the top of the song all the way down. I was never flying in hooks. Everything was live, one take. If I got all the way to the f**king end, and messed up the last word, I’d be like “Run it back, let’s do it again.” I remember Dre was like “Yo, are you f**king crazy? Let’s just punch.” I didn’t like that concept because I wasn’t used to it. When we were recording here in Detroit, in the beginning, I was saving up my money to go in. We only had an hour, you know? I’m like “One take down, alright, let’s go to the next song. F**k it.” That’s what I was used to.
Eminem’s “White America”:
I always wanted to make sure that people knew what I was doing. That’s part of what Paul’s role was in the skits. He was the adult. We wanted people to know that we knew this shit was f**ked up and pushing the envelope, but that there was still a voice of reason somewhere.
Songs like “White America” and “Cleanin’ out my Closet,” those aren’t really Shady. So I thought, “I’m going to call this album The Eminem Show. This is me as the rapper, not as the character.”
Eminem’s “Rap God”:
I’ve always been into comic books. Spiderman, Hulk, old Batmans, Supermans — mostly vintage Marvel shit from before I was born. Just being able to have those pieces of history is crazy. I would not want to face off with somebody comparing comic book knowledge, but I know a pretty good amount.
I don’t ever want to be too braggadocious. If I’m going to brag, let me pull it back with lines like “school flunky, pill junkie.” I’m a f**king waste of life. I’m a waste of sperm. I am a f**king outcast of society, I am a piece of s**t. But I know how to rap. Other than that, I’m a f**king scumbag. I’m worthless. Or this is what I’ve been told.
Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”:
When we were making 8 Mile, I was revisiting this old CD from two years before, going through old loops. I found the “Lose Yourself” demo on this session where me and Jeff Bass were just making beats. Jeff was just sitting on those guitar chords, and then it went into something different. I was just like “Yo, that section, right there, I gotta make a beat out of that.” I recorded the demo version of it the same day I made the beat. I didn’t like the rhyme, and put it off to the side.
But it’s one of those beats I never gave up on. That beat was definitely a highlight of my producing. I ended up doing the new version on the set of the movie, just writing between takes.
8 Mile wasn’t coming out for another year and a half, and Curtis really wanted music for the movie. He wanted it to be created from the environment, so he was pushing me to make stuff. I think “Lose Yourself” was the only thing I worked on specifically for the movie.
Jay Z’s “Renegade” featuring Eminem:
When I’m writing, I’m in the syllable game. I’m connecting 5-6-7-8 syllable phrases where every syllable rhymes. I get heavy into that. When I start rapping something, and I think of more syllables that connect with it, sometimes I want to just keep the scheme going forever.
I’ve done it before in songs, where the syllable scheme of the first verse ends up being the syllable scheme of the second verse, and the third verse — all the way down. I do it because the lines start connecting and making sense. Once I find something and lock in, it comes out pretty quick.
50 Cent’s “In Da Club”:
We couldn’t decide on the first single from Get Rich. It was going to be either “If I Can’t” or “In Da Club.” We were torn, so me, 50, Paul, Chris Lighty, and Jimmy Iovine decided to flip a coin.
Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars:
Because of the Martin Luther King quote — “had a dream” — someone thought “milking” was a play on M.L. King. It’s not. But I’ve thought that about other people’s lines. Sometimes me and Slaughterhouse will talk, and I’ll be like “Yo, you meant this?” And he’ll be like “No,” and I’m like, “You should tell people you meant that.”
I should have told that guy that’s what I meant. That “milking” thing is pretty cool.
D12’s “Purple Pills”:
Sometimes, a full melody will hit me and the words fall out easily. Other times, I just get a basic idea of a melody and whatever the rhythm is doing, however many syllables it is. Ham-bur-gers. Sometimes it will be the last word that will hit me, and it will be like “Okay, now fill in the blanks.” And sometimes it will just get the beginning phrase, like with “Purple Pills.” I think a lot of that material just came from walking around the studio. We’re just goofballs man. We would just clown.
Hollow Da Don Vs Tsu Surf (URL):
Battle rap is healthy for hip hop. The entire battle scene, the way that it’s thriving right now and how big it’s becoming and everything—it’s great. There’s something to be said about two guys, facing each other and squaring off. But if you take any of those raps and put them on a record, that turns into fighting, for some reason.
If I’m battling somebody, I go into the battle knowing that. This person’s gonna say foul s**t about me. But when somebody calls somebody out on a record, it’s different. In a battle, people expect it.
Check out all of Eminem’s Genius.com annotations here.