Eminem–Marshall Bruce Mathers III–the Rap God–Slim Shady–the Real Slim Shady himself joined Genius.com to leave some insights in to some of the best music he has produced. Yes, it is the real Eminem because his profile is verified on Genius and Eminem also shared the news on his Facebook page.
Genius.com has been one of the most reliable and exclusive sources to find lyrics as-well-as meanings behind lyrics on almost any song. And who better to annotate Eminem’s lyrics than the Rap God himself? Eminem actually left 42 annotations on different tracks from his discography. We have them all lined up for you.
Here are the comments made by Eminem on his songs
– on “Open Mic” produced by Mr. Porter
Mr. Porter did all the beats on Infinite. Proof came in at the last minute and said he didn’t feel like the beats were banging enough. So he brought in DJ Head’s drum machine, and put drums behind this song.
– on “Infinite” produced by Mr. Porter and Jeff Bass
For “Infinite,” Denaun had the samples, and I had already laid the vocals. Proof just put drums and these sounds and shit behind that, too.
– on the lyric “I been down with the Outz for ten thou-sand years” from “Outsidaz” by Rush Ya Clique Ft. Eminem
Me and Bizarre used to go back to New Jersey to visit the Outsidaz, when we were in their group. They owned a whole house, but upstairs was a studio called The Outhouse. Young Zee owned the equipment.
– on the lyric “Look, look” from “8 Mile: Final Battle” with Papa Doc
This is Rabbit’s battle, not mine. I had a big battle of my own, and it was definitely not like Rabbit’s.
We had pressed up The Slim Shady EP and it was doing pretty well in Detroit. At some point, Wendy Day called me and said “I want you to be on the battle team. I got you a ticket to the Rap Olympics in LA.”
I went to the Olympics, got all the way to the end, and then lost to the last guy. The guy who won was Otherwize, from LA. It was a local thing. They had a bunch of crowd support there. When I rapped, he went and hid behind a video screen. He walked away while I was rapping. I didn’t have anyone to battle! I’d never been in a situation like that before. I went through a lot of people to get through to the end, and then he walked away while I was rapping. I’m like, “What the fuck do I do?” I was devastated.
I come off stage. I’m like, that’s it. It’s over for me. This kid from Interscope, Dean Geistlinger, walks over and he asks me for a copy of the CD. So I kind of just chuck it at him. It was The Slim Shady EP. We come back to Detroit, I have no fucking home, no idea what I’m gonna do. Then, a couple weeks later, we get a call. Marky Bass said, “Yo, we got a call from a doctor!”
– on the song “Any Man” produced by Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz
We recorded that with Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz at the legendary D&D Studios in New York. I had been to New York before, but going there to record something that I knew was going to come out officially? That was dope.
– on the lyric “So put my tape back on the rack Go run and tell your friends my shit is wack” from “Just Don’t Give A Fuck”
When we put Infinite out, it was local. We pressed up under a thousand, initially. We expected we’d be able to get something with it, though. When that didn’t happen, it was really deflating. People were saying that I sounded like AZ and Nas. I was upset. Not to say that I didn’t love AZ and Nas, but for a rapper to be compared to someone, for people to say that you sound like someone else — nobody wants that. I had to go back to the drawing board. So I remember getting mad. I was like, “I’m gonna rap like I don’t care anymore. Fuck it.” I started to write angry songs like “Just Don’t Give a Fuck.”
– on the track “My Name Is” produced by Dr. Dre
“My Name Is” was the first song we recorded. We recorded three or four that day, in like six hours. One song was called “Ghost Stories” and one was “When Hell Freezes Over.” I feel like there was one more but I can’t remember what it was. We always have this discussion, because Dre says it’s four.
Paul used to live in New Jersey, right across from Manhattan. He had an apartment he shared with three roommates. I was over, sleeping on the couch. We didn’t have money yet, really. We had already filmed the video, and we saw it for the first time on MTV. It came on really late at night. I was sleeping on the couch when Paul saw it for the first time.
That’s when it was like, “Okay, this isn’t a joke anymore.” We had kind of felt that, being in the studio with Dre and shit. But once that single came out, my life changed like that. Within a day. Just going outside. I couldn’t go outside anymore. In a day. It went from the day before, doing whatever the fuck I wanted to do, because nobody knew who the fuck I was, to holy shit, people are fucking following us. It was crazy. That’s when shit just got really — it was a lot to deal with at once.
Right after the first single came out, I did a signing at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. While I was there, I got served by a court processor. They knew where I’d be, and they had to physically serve me. The guy got tackled. He was stupid. You don’t need to physically serve someone anymore, like in the movies. But the guy was being a cowboy. It was some lawsuit from my mother, I think.
– on the lyric “Hi, my name is, what? My name is, who? My name is, chka-chka Slim Shady” from “My Name Is“
Dre put on the Labi Siffre record, and I was just like “Hi! My name is!” That beat was talking to me. I was like, “Yo, this is it, this is my shot. If I don’t impress this guy, I’m going back home and I’m fucked.” I knew Dre wasn’t an easy person to please. I made sure that everything he had a beat for, I had a rhyme ready to go, or I came up with a rhyme on the spot.
“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 fucking 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 fucking 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. Fuck it.” That’s what I was used to.
– on the track “Lose Yourself (Original Demo Version)“
This is going to sound stupid, but I have no recollection of the demo version on Shady XV. Paul remembers me doing that but I don’t know where I recorded it, I don’t even know when I recorded it. I did a lot of drugs, so my memory is all over the place.
– on the lyric “Cause when we descend together, we begin to move as one In perfect unison just like the moon and sun” from “Lose Yourself (Original Demo Version)“
This is the only rhyme I remember. It’s the only line that sounds remotely familiar to me.
– on the track “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile
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.
We filmed half of it in the dead of winter. We had a music trailer on set, designed like a studio. One trailer was music, and we had another with gym equipment in it.
We were on lunch break, and I needed to finish the track. I don’t think it was one take all the way down, but it was one take each verse. “Got the first verse, okay, punch me in at the second. OK, the whole third verse.” For some reason, I just captured something there that I didn’t want to change. I remember trying to change it and go back and re-do the vocals, and I was like “Yo, let me listen to the old ones? Just keep the old ones, fuck it.”
– on the lyric “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy There’s vomit on his sweater already: mom’s spaghetti” from “Lose Yourself”
The first verse is all about Jimmy Smith Jr. It’s me talking about Jimmy Smith Jr. — like, I’m not saying my sweater, I’m saying his. I’m trying to show you what his life is about.
– on the lyric “God only knows, he’s grown farther from home, he’s no father He goes home and barely knows his own daughter” from “Lose Yourself”
Maybe people are just thinking father rhymes with daughter or something. But it’s about repeating a pattern. The trick is to get the pattern to hit on the same beat — “grown farther,” “own daughter,” the “knows” and “goes,” like that.
– on the song “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 fucked 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.”
– on the first verse of “Sing for the Moment”
This is where I was dealing with critics who didn’t understand why people were identifying with me. I realized I was becoming like the rappers that I looked up to as a kid. I identified with and loved LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys. I felt like if everybody didn’t understand their music, it didn’t matter — they were speaking to me. So that’s what I was trying to make people realize on this track. I may not be shit to you, but there’s a kid in fucking Nebraska, or somewhere, that I’m talking to. I don’t care if you’re listening, because he’s listening. That’s who I’m directing my material at.
– on the lyric “I been to mushroom mountain Once or twice but who’s counting But nothing compares To these blue and yellow purple pills” from “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.
– on the first line of “Rap God”
The hook was the first phrase I thought of when I heard the track. I thought “Okay, this has something to it and might be catchy but — I’m a “rap god”? Why? If I’m going to say that, I need to validate that.”
I don’t want to say it’s the crutch, exactly, but the theme of the whole song is: this is the only thing I know how to do. I don’t know how to do anything else, aside from play a little bit of basketball. Except if the Lions called me. I’m down to be receiver or something, or a running back. I’d be good for that.
– on the lyric “Ungh, school flunky, pill junkie But look at the accolades, these skills brung me” from “Rap God”
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 fucking waste of life. I’m a waste of sperm. I am a fucking outcast of society, I am a piece of shit. But I know how to rap. Other than that, I’m a fucking scumbag. I’m worthless. Or this is what I’ve been told.
– on the lyric “Kneel before General Zod this planet’s Krypton No Asgard, Asgard So you be Thor and I’ll be Odin, you rodent, I’m omnipotent” from “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.
– on the lyric “Had a dream I was king, I woke up, still king Rap game’s nipple is mine for the milking” from “Lighters” by Bad Meets Evil ft. 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.
– on the lyric “And even if I could it’ll all be gray, but your picture on my wall It reminds me, that it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad” from “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.
– on 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.
So there are some of the best picks from us. There were 42 annotations in total and we suggest you head over to Genius.com for the comprehensive inside knowledge into some of Eminem’s best work. All credits to Genius.com and Eminem for making this rare incident happen.
Sometimes Eminem explains what a lyric line means. Sometime he says something about the producers of a track or the album. Sometimes he mentions what inspired him to write the song or the lyric. And other times he digs into himself and narrates his personal and raw experiences. This is invaluable stuff.
Eminem also looked at some of the tracks he has helped put out and some other tracks he thought were good enough to spark his attention. Whatever he did on Genius, the fandom embraced it.
Eminem isn’t into much glory these day. Whatever glory he wanted, he got it, a long time back, and got fed up with it easily. The about section on Eminem’s profile at Genius.com says “Eminem is keeping quiet for now.” So we have no clue when he will be back on Genius, or if he will ever be back. We hope he returns, but he is a busy man.
Eminem has a few tracks coming out. One from the Southpaw movie, and another on TechN9ne’s upcoming album. So keep your eyes peeled for them, or just stay tuned with us and we will have them as soon as they are out.
Make sure to leave a comment about what you think about these annotations.
If you didn’t believe the genius of Eminem, now you do!