Eminem: The Reluctant Rap God

Marshall Mathers has compiled one of Hip Hop's most exalted careers. So why is he still wary of saying he's the greatest?

Eminem sports one of Hip Hop’s most accomplished careers, and he’s just “beginning to feel like a Rap God?”

Over 100 million albums sold, at least three exalted LPs (Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show. Possibly four depending on how you feel about Recovery), unquestionable reverence from fellow rappers, a generation of stylistic Stans flooding the internet spitting Shady aspirations—scores of emcees have adorned themselves GOATs and Gods with a fraction of the Wiki entry. Yet, after 14 years of challenging Rap the noun and the verb, the hook to possibly his most emphatic totem of lyrical godliness dances in intentional doubt? Marshall is beginning to feel like a Rap God? Word

“That whole ‘Rap God’ record pretty much from top to bottom is tongue in cheek,” Eminem says in the November 2013 issue of Rolling Stone, dawning his most reliable cloak of humility. He continues:

“So I mean, do I want to feel like that? Maybe sometimes. Again, it goes back to everybody who competitive raps and does this for just purely the sport of it wants to be the best… If you don't want to be the best, then why are you rapping?”

Slim’s cadence and catalog spill the confidence exuded in a quintessential b-boy stance. But there’s something lurking behind his reluctance to raucously overthrow the throne. “Till I Collapse” off his stellar third offering, The Eminem Show for example, resonates over a decade later because of its ferocity and relentless self-awareness. But the song is perhaps most memorable because Em kicks his personal GOAT list—then curiously places himself ninth.

“It goes Reggie / Jay Z / Tupac and Biggie / Andre from Outkast / Jada / Kurupt / Nas and then me.” – Eminem, "Till I Collapse" 

Rap’s Elvis Presley revisits the barbershop fodder again on “Evil Twin” off this week’s Marshall Mathers LP 2. He moves himself higher in the rankings, sure, but still stops short of outright crowning himself King. “Fuck Top 5, bitch / I’m Top 4,” he raps. “And that includes Biggie and Pac, whore / And I got an evil twin so who the fuck you think that third and that fourth spot’s for?”

Here’s what’s dope: Those three “Evil Twin” bars seamlessly link back to his “Till I Collapse” list where “Tupac and Biggie” are named third and fourth, which would mean Em (or Slim) finally claims all-time GOAT-status—a first in his eight-album career.

And Stans world wide web wide rejoice…

Here’s what’s also dope: The allusion works too well in reverse to be haphazard. Heads of a certain era already did the math, but Marshall’s far from gen pop obvious. By ending on a question, the conversation is left open for interpretation. Arguably he’s listing himself after Biggie and Pac. He’s offering an asterisk. He’s intentionally showing restraint.

Since when does Slim Shady show restraint?

There are certain consistencies within any Eminem interview. Regardless of whatever self-inflicted whirlwind shrouds his latest release—since Shady and the other Barcode Gods only leave the chateau when it’s time to sell something—there will always be a section where Slim downshifts in to Supreme Rap Nerd mode.  

The truth and the legend are synonymous in this sense. Eminem the crafty battle rapper never left Detroit. He never left the cypher, the Shelter. He’s still uber competitive and constantly thinking of new ways to flip words. He’s developed his own Rap terminology like “internal rhyme schemes” and “compound syllables sound combined” and rattles them off as if he just wrapped a master class in lyricism.

Sweat The Technique: Eminem’s Fascination With Technical Rhyming 

In Ice-T’s Art Of Rap, Em explains that what he loves about Rap is “that it feels like puzzles.

“I’m real into the craft, the emceeing,” Mathers continues. “I always think, ‘How can I figure this puzzle out?’ How can I take words and put them at the end of the sentence and put them in between and maybe make some words rhyme between that [rhyme]? Sandwich those words and try to make them rhyme inside of the phrase and then come back outside and try to rhyme with the word that I ended on the snare. I’m kind of real into the technical part of it.”

During Encore’s press run in 2005, Slim Shady coyly pinpoints to XXL that every word on “Toy Soldiers” is "hitting the drumbeat.“ During The Eminem Show press run in 2002, “Rain Man” reveals toVibe his frustrations with his first two LPs:

On the last album, I hadn’t completely mastered it yet, to sink into the beat. That’s what I don’t like about the [Marshall Mathers LP]—I’d listen, and I’d be like, ‘Why am I so far behind the beat?’ The [Slim Shady LP] was TERRIBLE—like, I was playing catch-up with the beat constantly.”

The same compulsion shows again in the aforementioned Rolling Stone interview. While discussing his approach to MMLP2’s “Legacy,” Mathers states, “That’s one of the things I do to challenge myself. I wanted to try to make a whole song where the rhyming words never changed.”

Shady never runs out of ways to talk about the technical side of emceeing, so it makes sense that he’s yet to stylistically dumb-down for the audience. The mini-games are still too important, there are too many lyrical levels left to unlock. As a result, every new album always seems to come complete with a fresh batch of margin-mauling styles. That’s Eminem’s most resolute “Rap God” quality.

Addiction Cycles: The Marshall Mathers Method

“But my respect is overdue / I’m showing you the flow no one do / Cause I don’t own no diploma from school / I quit / So there’s nothing for me to fall back on / I know no other trade…” – Eminem, “Survival”

Hova The God used to show up with new styles. Now he shows up with new watches.

God’s Son never had that many styles to begin with. Fortunately he spent the bulk of his second decade dabbling in kinda-concept albums.

Yeezus would rather make water bottles.

For better and worse, life moves in that manner. Aspirations change like nickels and quarters. Suddenly Jameson is the old Macallan and your favorite rapper is more inspired by side ventures than emceeing.

“I don’t think he wants to be that kind of businessman,” Slim’s long time manager Paul Rosenberg said to Billboard in 2010. “I think he’s really focused on the creative side. He’s never been someone who’s set out to have a bunch of different companies out there, sort of playing the system. He’s just not that kind of guy.”

8 Mile and a fringe clothing line aside, Eminem’s sights are still maniacally set on lyricism. It’s way past obsession at this point and much more indicative of Marshall Mathers’ most discussed demon: Addiction.

An interesting exchange occurs during Eminem’s 2009 interview on The Jonathan Ross Show. Ross, in his typical flamboyance enquires about rumors that Em “ballooned up” while outside of the spotlight. Mathers—who was one year sober at the time—confirms the rumors and says that the weight gain happened because he was taking pills he “had no business taking.” He then details how he was able to shed pounds:

“I run a lot. I run quite a bit. I get up in the morning [and run]. I was running twice a day for a little while. There was one point where I was running—it was a little too much. It was a little extreme. It was a total of 17 miles [a day]. You kind of go from one addiction to the next and I’m an addict. I’m an extremist—one extreme to the next.”

So here we have an artist who’s possibly the prodigal emcee, revels in extreme lyricism, relentlessly studies the culture while notching more accolades than arguably anyone in the history of the medium.

One who never changed clothes, never stopped rocking stereotypical Rap gear. The fit may have tightened a bit, but it’s still primarily jeans and T-Shirts, just as it was the day we met him.

One who openly admits to being an addict and speaks on his craft in the same manic way he speaks on his other addictions.

Shady’s earned the opportunity to bask in his Rap Godliness; earned the right to two-step on the throne just as every other super emcee in the world’s most competitive genre. He understands this, yet still shows restraint. “Maybe sometimes” he feels like a Rap God?

To paraphrase Em in Rolling Stone: If you’re not ready to own being the best, why even allude to it?

Eminem’s Approach To Being A Cultural Outsider

“I know there was a time where once I / Was the king of the underground but I still rap like I’m on my Pharoahe Monch grind.” – Eminem, “Rap God”

I haven’t seen the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42. But I remember watching the Blair Underwood version, Soul Of The Game on HBO when I was 15 years old. There’s a scene in the film where Brooklyn Dodgers owner, Branch Rickey cautions Robinson of the tidal waves of racism awaiting the first player to break baseball’s color barrier.

“Don’t you want someone who’s strong enough to fight back?” Robinson asked, questioning whether he’s the right choice. “I want someone who’s strong enough not to,” Rickey replied, reinforcing the decorum necessary for the success of the historic signing.

Hustling through underground Hip Hop in the Golden Era was cutthroat. Since the Internet wasn’t yet THE INTERNET, aspiring-rappers had to actually go outside to build a fan base, which immediately tested gall, integrity and financial stability. Pay-for-play showcases and expensive studio time and perpetual transportation costs weren’t options. They were the requirement, along with weathering hostile crowds. The culture exploded through pre-Reverse White Flight metropolitan areas where economically and competitively the stakes were higher. Anyone jutting out for the wrong reasons became a target or outcast. It’s a scenario parallel to being the only moreno kid in class in the 1990s: You may never feel quite White or Black enough, but you’re constantly conscious of decorum.

Marshall Mathers handles the N-word and F-word interrogations in completely opposing fashions. Before and after his beef with Benzino, Em’s remained consistent in explaining his refusal to use the words “nigger” and “nigga,” just as he consistently defends his use of the word “faggot.”

Speaking on the comparison in 2004 for example, Slim details the difference between the two derogatory phrases. “If you’re using the word faggot in the way of [name calling], that’s different than a racial slur to me,” he said. “Some people may feel different. Some White kids feel comfortable throwing [nigga] around all day. I don’t. I’m not saying I’ve never used the word in my entire life. But now, I just don’t say it in casual conversation. It doesn’t feel right to come out of my mouth.”

Gay may be the new Black, but in Hip Hop the F-word and the N-word are not interchangeable. One potentially offends; the other is ground for removal. The "Product of Lakim Shabazz" knows the difference because he’s of the difference. Em doesn't dance on "Glee." He dances in Black urban music. He's felt what it’s like to be the pale face gripping the mic. He’s been Mr. Sandman’d off stage, harnessed that outsider’s rage—killed Kim a couple times, cleaned out his closet—and unleashed a music career rarely, if ever, rivaled. And even with all that, restraint on this one point remains. He’s still intentionally pulling the ultimate punchline.

Maybe in Marshall's mind, Hip Hop still isn’t ready for a White Rap God.

“But sometimes / When you combine / Appeal with the skin color of mine / You get too big and hear they come trying / To censor you…See if I get away with it now that I ain’t as big as I once was. But I’m / Morphing into an immortal.” – Eminem, “Rap God”

Justin "The Company Man" Hunte is the Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX. He was the host of The Company Man Show on PNCRadio.fm and has covered music, politics, and culture for numerous publications. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @TheCompanyMan.

RELATED: Eminem - Marshall Mathers LP 2 [Album Review]


  • Mr Fanai

    Putting religion an all racist bullshit aside. Is Eminem the current RAP GOD!!? Cause i think he is. who can compete with him in the current world of rap. And FYI.. Calling yourself a god of something doesn't make you some kind of blasphemer. Its a way of saying your the best at what you do..

  • Y'all dumb as fuck

    YALL DUMB AS FUCK! He doesn't literally mean he is a god like Jesus! He saying he is the most powerful in RAP! Damn go take y'all religious ass on somewhere. Shouldn't y'all be listening to gospel instead of rap? The fuck y'all doing here? Damn

    • dopers

      The fuck you talking bout?? Maybe you need da gospel dawg?? Talking Bullshit!! U fake ass niggas get the fuck out here bitch!!!!

  • WTF you say?

    "Gay may be the new black..." WTF is this? Media does portray blacks in a negative light. Or I could say, blacks that fit the stereo-types get the face of black media. Sex crazed, rappers, ball players, leave your baby with its mamma, aggressive and or loud...The ideology of the black man in American media. They do it to themselves though.

  • Chred1991

    my classmate's ex-wife makes $83 hourly on the internet . She has been without work for six months but last month her pay was $21027 just working on the internet for a few hours. Check This Out...............http://x.co/3v9Sp

  • animalovich

    well ,,, you know what RAP have no GOD ;)

  • animalovich

    WHY YOU WANT TO MAKE Rap Music SO WHITE ? by the way I am from Africa ((Egypt))

  • animalovich

    Hey Justin Hunte , what about CLASH OF THE TITANS !!!!! Have you though to make an article about ((Clash Of The Titans)) that Krayzie Bone did , as he premiered his version of Eminem's "Rap God" on his radio show The Quick Fix and retitled the track "Clash Of The Titans Why you just ignoring the Track ? And theres no RAP GOD ,,, the RAP GOD is DEAD ,,, in the 90s ,, as all the good old skool rap is gone and forever , R.I.P Hip-Hop years

    • Justin Hunte

      Man, I absolutely love that track! "Clash Of The Titans" is one of the most official verses of the year, and arguably one of the best of Krayzie's career. I'm a diehard bone thugs fan. They're the reason why I care so much about lyrics to this day.

  • wdwd


  • MrRicoSlick

    This is one of the most pointless discussions in the Hip Hop genre, mainly because no one ever provides an objective or defensible premise for ranking one emcee over another. People can air their opinions all they want but their is no such thing as the greatest emcee, each emcee has their peak but very few remain consistently on top of their craft. My top 5 will always be Rakim, Black Thought, Ice Cube(91-93), Nas and The Notorious BIG. My favourite lyricists will always be Kool G Rap, Big Pun, Pharoah Monche, AZ and Big Daddy Kane. Both lists in no particular order.

  • CeceliaGMui

    my mum just bought silver Cadillac CTS-V Coupe by working parttime off of a macbook. see page.....www.jobs39.com

  • Joel

    Justin, this is an incredibly well written piece of editorial journalism. Well done sir. As for everyone else - you're all going to have your opinions of who the GOAT and what not. That comes down to your own preferences. If you listen to MMLP2, though, there is just no denying that Em's lyrical ability is nothing short of amazing. Put your Dr Dre Beats over your ears and really listen to each bar and you will appreciate his raw talent.

  • WTF


    • Anonymous

      Rip the Jacker was a great album. Outside of that hes had some ups and downs. But in the end Canibus cant go toe to toe with Em. At least album/released material wise...and judging by his recent notebook incident i am not so sure he can handle the battle either. but i would love to watch it. Em is the GOAT

    • Canibitch

      CANIBITCH DONT WANT NO BEEF WITH SLIM NOOOOOOO. NOT EVEN ON MY RADAR, SO HOW ABOUT YOU JUMP OFF MY DICK, LAY OFF AND STAY OFF next thing you know Canibus is free styling with a pad in hand ouch career over.

    • Mike

      Oh you mean Canibitch? Canibitch started the shit bro and he can't do shit about it now. eminem rocks that motherfucker

  • WTF


  • WTF


  • WTF


  • WTF


  • Sir Raj

    it is a rule, the greatest always Humble, that's all.

  • gaddic

    This editorial is interesting i have to agree and it is somewhat reasonably veracious (its a propagated theory no one is in Eminem's mind). Greatest MC of all-time? Obviously not anyone older than 28 with a huge knowledge of hip-hop music cannot sensibly put Eminem as the Greatest MC of all time. People misunderstand the "Rap God" track, Eminem himself has made it clear it makes no sense to try and rap and not AIM to be the BEST. It is just showing his passion and confidence is all. A Real mature seasoned objective rap fan knows Eminem is one of the greatest technicians but pop sales and Grammys do not make a MC the "Greatest"-those are shallow irrelevant criteria thrust upon the masses by ignorant popular white media critics. Eminem KNOWS this and his passionate biased fans need to wake up and smell the coffee and educate themselves of what HIP-HOP truly is.

  • Anonymous

    *erase "not" after

  • Anonymous

    Is this piece for real? You're calling a guy the "Reluctant Rap God" right after he releases a song titled "Rap God"? Who was the runner up for this award, Kanye (I AM A GOD) West?

  • Hip Hop Head

    Em the definition of a hypocrite. Dissed corny popstars, now works with them all the time. As a hip hop head I cant support him anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Its actually very simple. Eminem is a huge fan of hip hop. As a result, he knows enough about hip hop to know that he is certainly not the best ever.

  • GonzalezDollaz

    Nice Article, I agree he is Reluctant, probably because he knows hes white and is humble enough to never put himself above other black artists that are real good. To name himself the best of all time, he would have to put "himself" above his own major influences, kool g rap, tupac, biggie, rakim, etc... Other than em and maybe Royce the 5'9, Tech N9ne would be the KING of rapping due to his technicality. TECH N9NE puts his heart and soul into Hip-Hop by rapping his ass off... Everyone is quick to label him and look at him weird, like Eminem being white, Tech N9ne's influence includes Rock n Roll... that's why Techs rock album was way different than lil waynes "rock" album...Actual passion and interest

  • Rob

    The comments on here are just going to be fan feelings... and I'll throw mine on too. When it comes to the technical side of rap as well as the ability to express his angst and other emotions.. eminem is one of the best musicians ever... but as far as using the art of rap to express more than that, like tupac/nas etc do.. he is great but not the best.. and he knows it.. which is why he doesn't say he is.

  • Qonvex

    he hasnt said it because he knows he's not the best and would get lit up if he actually collaborated with other dope emcee's such as Monch, Nas, Kweli or RA.

  • Eminem Rap God

    Eminem is the greatest! I found this site where you can still get the Rap God shirt! http://www.redbubble.com/people/maxbateman/works/11075733-rap-god-shirt-eminem-limited I love eminem and will always support him, he's my personal rap god.

  • Eminem Rap God

    Eminem Rap God Shirt

  • ultras007

    There is guys whole Eminem - MMLP2 album free for download on link below, also its HQ with 320kbps www.mmlp2leaked.com

  • sam snead

    Eminem lacks a without a doubt classic album, MMLP was very close but I wouldn't put it at the same level as All eyes on me,illmatic,Ready to die or reasonable doubt. He does have a good catalog though unlike other artists that were coming out around the same time that were lyrically superior to eminem but died like BIG Pun and BIG L. I put eminem at 5 behind jay-z,biggie,2pac and Nas. This article is not all that accurate to people that actually know how to rap a little. Kanye was never even in the discussion, Jay-z has a syllable flow like Eminem but eminem crafts his more but lacks the hooks and an album like Reasonable Doubt, you kinda lost me at Nas didn't have skills he can rap to any type of beat he has a Rakim flow who can also be put in the discussion for top 5

    • animalovich

      (Quote) Ignorant: Eminem has more classics than any other rapper, and he has sold more than any other rapper. Jay Z is ass please don't put him in front of EM.... etc dude you sure you are from earth ,, are you a homosapian just like us ,,, you need to study rap man ,,, are you even black !

    • Ignorant

      Eminem has more classics than any other rapper, and he has sold more than any other rapper. Jay Z is ass please don't put him in front of EM. Nas had a ghost writer for most of his career dumbass. On top of that Tupac was a fucken poet. His music was ass, it had horrible musical technicalities in it. Biggie didn't get no where, biggies rhymes were simple, and had no signs of greatness in them whatsoever. Big pun was horrible fucken rapper as was Big L.. You know shit on music fuck off...

    • Anonymous

      He doesn't have three classics. 2 maybe, but def not 3.

    • marklen

      you sound like someone who started listening to rap yesterday. "durr 2pac and jay z". Really kiddo? Jay z? "Eminem lacks a without a doubt classic album" Yeah, too bad he has three of them.

    • dus

      That's your opinion. Just because someone says that MMLP or any other Eminem album is a classic doesn't mean they don't know how to rap. That's your opinion and music is subjective. Eminem's first 3 albums are CLASSICS by any means (commercially, lyrically, conceptually), and you can ask your favorite rapper that and they'll tell you the same thing. By the way, your grammar is horrific. I know I made some mistakes in this paragraph, but Jesus Christ, punctuation was created for a reason.

  • ManMan


  • Truth

    Justin Hunt (spell it normally hunt doenst have an E you pretentious fuck) is crying that he will never get the pulitzer... haha... bet he's wishing his surname was bieber right now and he was railing some hot brazil tranny pussy.

  • Truth

    Whoever likes this article is just impressed easily by its wordcount and the size of complex sounding words --mostly used incorrectly at that-- in it. Same reason people jerk off over eminems overboard rhyming. This article is the journalistic equivalent to daily horoscopes.

  • poppa large

    FUCK EMINEM. most of is fans are white cornballs who believe everything the mainstream media says and promotes. he is talented but is a pawn the industry has used to further the decaying social fabric. his new album sucks and is so watered down and pop and rock.

  • Lillian

    Eminem is 41 but he looks hella young. I wish he was my boyfriend :( so sexy look :)

  • Anonymous

    cock i wanna suck em's cock

  • 101

    Shit this piece was so fucking bad for so many reasons. Why did i even consider reading this article? God knows why. Please DX i ask you to consider giving another thought into posting a non website author writing for your site to atleast read their articles a handful amount of times before posting it on your.. Well evidently disfinctional website (i was being generous) well i guess this is all i have to say; if by luck you who is reading this comment opened this article and have not read this aricle and skipped it to check the comments section then i ask you to save your precious time doing something productive instead of reading this un-threaded pile of dog crap

  • Ghostly

    And i dont wana hear that numbers dont lie bullshit. if thats the case, justin bieber is going to be the greatest musician of all time.

  • Ghostly

    There is no way he is the greatest of all time.

  • Aim80

    Well written article...

  • Ruby Rice

    up to I looked at the paycheck saying $8258, I didn't believe that my best friend had been really bringing in money in their spare time from there labtop.. there moms best frend haz done this for only 8 months and just paid for the depts on there villa and got a gorgeous BMW 5-series. useful reference www.Fb39.Com Totally agree with Reece... He always bitches about how much he hates rap and the industry.. Yet still drops shit, then bitches about it some more. Your young motherfucker, go get a degree or some shit, goddamn.

  • Crocker

    "The Reluctant Rap god?" (No way in hell I'm capitalizing that) SMH..........

  • Anonymous

    trailer park heritage month

  • u dum

    you think em created the term internal rhyme scheme? wtf

  • Freda Carter

    just before I looked at the receipt of $7368, I have faith that my sister had been realey bringing home money parttime from there new laptop.. there uncles cousin has done this 4 only 19 months and by now paid for the debts on their villa and purchased themselves a Nissan GT-R:. Related Site www.Fb39.Com Was this a fucking joke? haha These tools couldn't rhyme their way out of a fucking paper bag... and mentioning Hailie that's just stupid...

  • T-Barz

    Cant nobody outrap eminem. The closest would probably have to be Tech N9ne, but thats it. And its not about the fact that they can fast rap, its about how much information they can fit into one bar.

    • Justin Hunte

      I don't know. Pharoahe Monch is waaaaaay up there and the only other emcee I can think of as focused on the technical side as closely as Em. Monch kicks some unbelievable rhyme schemes on "W.A.R."

  • Anonymous

    stans pray to eminem he keeps them in tune with their trailer park lifestyle in exchange for him living like a king... we proclaim him king mathers

  • Anonymous

    Is hip-hop ready for a white Rap God? I think so, but that's depending on how many Rap Gods there can be/are. Is hip-hop ready for THE Rap God to be white? I'd like to say yes. But hey, white rappers are guests right? But then Rap is a house that has a completely different feel to the original abode. In my opinion (which holds no value on the internet these days) Eminem is THE Rap God. However, tomorrow I might feel differently. Maybe Eminem will feel differently? Isn't that the beauty of Hip-Hop?

    • Wds

      Em circa 03 would slap the shit out of you pussy. Em 2013 would probably nervously say some awkward thing while not making eye contact and you would interpret it as a compliment you narcissistic pussy fuck.

    • Justin Hunte

      Thank you for the comment. It's interesting to think about the conversation in conjunction with, as you put it, the completely different feel of the Rap's abode. The medium is certainly diverse enough for him to truly rock Elvis-wear. But there is an argument that integrity is risked if he ever truly does.

  • wait,,,

    so is he pretty much saying his flow was wack on sslp and mmlp????

  • Drew

    This really is a good article. The ones saying it isn't or that the writer shouldn't be allowed to write this must be on crack. You're going to dismiss this entire article because he mentions his interpretation of how Em views himself next to the other legends? Lol. U know he's holding back from saying he's the all time GOAT. N that's out of pure respect for who came before him. I'm pretty sure Em knows he's the best thing out right now (next to Kendrick) n has been for the last 4 years n especially over a full career(something biggie n PAC were never able to do unfortunately). He's gotten better with time n he knows it. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE!!! And! Recovery is what paper trail was to T.I.- just cuz there's more radio play songs on the album doesn't take away from how great the record really is. I guess u wanna hear more of that weaker music with less meaning where he raid off beat. Go listen to lil b, riff raff, n walks for that.

    • Ummm

      HAHAHAAHAHAHAH of course you do. You just absorb all the good comments and ignore the 5000 comments speaking truth about how you can barely string together a non-pretentious sentence -- like a typical out of touch ivory tower narcissist. Just stick to classic rock ok? Ok. We could use less of you on the hip hop landscape.

    • Justin Hunte

      Thank you, Drew. I appreciate it.

  • Black De La Rocha

    Did this guy really say that Nas & Kanye aren't consistently coming with new styles??? What the hell? Great article, but that's some bullshit.

  • Spun Kay

    bore-off. Eminemem is technically one of the greatest but hasn't put out a good record in years.

  • finfrosk

    Nice article. Good read.

  • Anonymous

    if you read the whole thing you'd realise this a really good article with real reference unlike some made up bullshit on other sites.

    • A

      If you read the whole thing you'd realize the author is completely out of touch and uses big words and lingo to make himself sound smart and alienate the average hip hop reader. This is a hipsters wet dream at best and complete logical fallacy at worst.

  • Anonymous

    technically he doesnt put them third and fourth, he didn't explicitly say that he numbered them, he just listed his GOATs and they just happened to rhyme when he put them in that order

  • Jeff

    Um... wow.... this is the perfect example of someone who is smart enough to make a hip hop website that gets the most hits but is dumb enough to write a piece of shit article. You're worse than Puffy ad libbing on Bigs songs...stay behind the scenes in the spot usually for white or out of touch people.... SO EMBARRASSING!!!

  • Hmmmery


  • areal 1

    The one thing about hhdx that i respected and to me seperated itself from other websites like rr was I felt the editorial s and reviews were unbiased and based soley on how good the music or mc was and not about dickriding or relationships or hype but this article was written by a stan em is great but to dismiss nas as never having flows and hov as a dude with new watches is fuckin irresponsible em is top ten to me but hes not saying he's the b greatest because he knows hes not lyrically I would put him third behind the aforementioned nas and then g rap.Overall as far as complete artistry songwriting album catalog subject matter hes seventh behind in order 2pac Nas Jayz Krs One Biggie and LL and thats real.im a fan of hhdx but justin you sound like a stan

    • Justin Hunte

      My bad, sir. I wasn't sure if you were serious or not since your comments sound read like you didn't read the article. Nevertheless, in a conversation about technique and a diversity of styles, no, Nas is not in the same conversation. Does that mean he's wack or not talented, of course not. Does that mean Nas doesn't have any style or only one style, of course not as well. But truly, this is a conversation highlighting Eminem's extreme, addictive and unwavering approach to the technical side of emceeing. This has nothing to do with classic or non-classic or most classics or anything like that, nor does it contain any commentary around who has a better catalog...you know, all the things your criticism of the piece references.

    • areal1

      LMAOOOOO yeah you stans are crazy so em's first three albums compare to nas illmatic iww and I am lmao and yes jay has fell off but so had eminem his new album is so so at best nowhere near life is good probably a better than mchg and im no diehard fan of any artist I just love rap and im just calling as I see it.Justin your a eic at hhdx and thats the best response you could think of smfh

    • yup

      i see what you're saying, but i kinda disagree. i don't think the writer is a stan. he's just expressing a popular sentiment among hiphop fans - that jay-z has fallen off LYRICALLY and doesn't rap like he can. Nas doesn't have a true cadence that he sticks to when he raps, so in that way, he's kind of "style-less". But i agree that it is irresponsible to dismiss Nas as a guy with no style. As far as songwriting and lyrical ability, that's subjective so i think the writer as a fan is just stating his opinion, like you're doing. With that said, I think each rapper's prime is comparable. I mean, Eminem's first 3 major label albums are comparable to jay-z's reasonable doubt and Nas's illmatic. There are so many good rappers out there (i.e. Pharaoh Monch) that aren't recognized.

    • Justin Hunte

      Some of my best friends are Stans.

  • Anonymous

    I think he has been reluctant because he knows his people are full of shit and they will anoint him the king just because he's white and shower him with gifts and praise without truly understanding how much he tried to study the art of this shit. The stupid way they act will in turn make black people tired and despise him...not because its fault, but because black people know how hungry some white people are to find a white person to put on top of something black dominated. It takes away from him getting his just due that he wanted(and initially earned) from the black community. Deep down many of us know Em is dope, but watching the corporations and other white owned joints shove him down people's throat just because he's white or the bullshit white fans who may have never fucked with Hip Hop and thought it was garbage until he showed up that never gave a fuck to understand the music, listen to or analyze bars, or respect those before him that HE learned from...slapped some of us in the face. I think Em understands all this shit but he's caught in a rock in a hard place. If he doesn't carry his white flag he'll probably loose money and they'll fuck over his career and if he tries to act like he is the poster boy of Hip Hop and keep running with all the work the machine putting in on his behalf, its going to(and is) turning off a lot of the black community's respect he initially wanted to gain. We fucks with you, Marshall, but you know why we did initially and you know fucking with us made you, but its getting to a point where you gonna have to do the right thing and choose the right path, bruh. What's it going to be? And don't take the easy way out and kill yourself. Stand the fuck up and be a man and do what's right, yo. -A Detroit Nigga

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that.! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaSNK0pm4eY

  • fisher

    ive been asking this here lately...PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME WHY I CANT USE RAP GENIUS!? It doesnt give me explanations when i click on lines it just keeps reloading the page

  • Anon

    He does in fact contradict it and change up a lot though...sometimes he says hes the best and shoves it in faces and when hes asked about it outside the music he gets mad humble and shy about it and says hes not he just loves the craft.. theres a line on groundnhog day where he claims hes the goat that just ate up all of the grass on the landscape of rap lol

  • VoiceofReason

    Because he's humble. He respects the greats. He knows he is one of the best to ever do it but wants his music to speak for itself. And it does.

    • blkviper

      Rap is a contact sport and the greats know and think they're great, but very few will put themselves above those who made them want to get in the game. he don't need to claim the top spot it's a useless claim anyway. he's the top selling Rapper ever, Jay-Z has more number one albums of any solo artist in any Genre including Elvis and Michael and only 2nd to the Beatles overall. does that make him number one? maybe.

    • Justin Hunte

      Mr. I Don't Give A Fuck? Humble?...

  • The Blood Colored Sun of Zion

    If Eminem was cocky his career would have been obliterated long ago. Back when he debuted on a national stage people wouldn't stand for a white emcee coming right out the gate dissing black rappers and claiming he was the best ever. He was smart and cautious and modest while wading through a perilous industry towards success. His perceived humility must be admired.

  • Debra L. Boyle

    upto I looked at the paycheck which was of $7027, I didnt believe that...my... friend was like actually bringing in money in their spare time on their computer.. there uncles cousin started doing this 4 only 18 months and recently repayed the loans on there cottage and got a great new Maserati. Source>>> FB39(Dot)COM

  • Lord Jamar

    Eminem is reluctant to claim his greatness because even he knows he is just a guest in Hip Hop. He may be one of the greats but he is still a trailer park white bitch at core.

  • imho

    but good article outside that.

  • imho

    DO NOT add recovery to his list of classics. mmlp2 was better. relapse was better.

    • wdsd

      Don't write any more articles I don't care if you're the editor. Just fuck off. Go to a metal or rock website, you may love hip hop, but your presence is not wanted here nor is it appreciated. Pussy ass bitch.

    • Justin Hunte

      I didn't say classics. I said "exalted." But I get your point. I think the reason why a number of his fans dig that album is because it's the closest he's come to 8 Mile soundtrack EmInspiring, easily digestible, not puking or shitting on people. Plus people were happy to see him finally surface from his drug induced stupor. Thanks for reading.

  • Anonymous

    Great article! Loved reading it! And I also wonderd what the thing is about Em, never claimin' to be the best at all! I think he may be to damn moddest! But I've thought the same on many things. Like on every album he sounds (not talking about accents or any like that) better as a lyricist/emcee. Always topping himself again and again. A Legend Indeed. Just too many idiots out there whom claim to love hiphop and know everything about rap, but really, just love that certain artist, which is the reason they don't see the talent that some1 else has. Em is a Legend, you new kids to rap/ or stuck in the past with boombap beats, need to read lyrics and hear flows. Technically Em is the greatest of all time, no matter how ignorant you are!

  • blkviper

    I effen love EM, the cat is such a student of the game. He's dope not because he's a white guy doing "black music" because others tried it before him and it didn't make them dope. he's one of the top 5 greatest because he loved the craft and kept working. those who want to say he' the best ever, why not? those who says he's not, why not? and does it really matter? as long as this cat is blessing us with more versus I don't give a damn where you rank him.

  • Anonymous

    "Possibly 4 depending how about you feel about Recovery" - Recovery is Eminem's worst album. Should read possibly 4 depending on how you feel about Encore. MMLP2 is also not bad. Eminem himself said Recovery was wack " What good is a Recovery if you fumble it" TES - Classic MMLP - Classic Encore/SSLP - Near Classics MMLP2 - Very good Relapse - Good Recovery - Terrible

    • Justin Hunte

      I got a list. Here's the order of my list that it's in. 1. Slim Shady LP. 2. Marshall Mathers LP 3. Encore 4. The Eminem Show 5. Infinite 6. MMLP2 7. Relapse 8. Recovery But like I said above, people love Recovery because it's the closest he's been to normal since 8 Mile. It's more Marshall than Shady at a time when many were growing tired of his serial killing, pop star slaying alter ego. There's a feeling of triumph on that recordinspiration.

    • imho

      everythings good except encore and recovery- terrible albums.

    • flawless

      SSLP is arguably his greatest album. Encore is good but nowhere near SSLP,MMLP,TES. Just saying. I recently rated all the albums and it went SSLP, MMLP, TES, MMLP2, Encore,Relapse, Recovery with a decent drop off between TES and MMlp2 and Encore.

  • OUCH!

    Just wanted to say in those songs he is not placing a number on anyone. He is not saying hes 1,2 or 3rd. Hes just saying those are the rappers that he believes deserve to be on the top best MC's.