Eminem – Till I Collapse (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
“Till I Collapse” is one of Eminem’s most famous and sought after track, despite never being released as a single. Even 17 years after its release, this song still gets the crowds going at live concerts.
“Till I Collapse” appears as the 18th track on Eminem’s fourth studio album ‘The Eminem Show.’ The album itself is infamous for global hits such as “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” “Without Me,” “Hailie’s Song,” “Superman,” “Sing for the Moment” and more. Released in May 2002, the song has been certified over 5x Platinum by RIAA for a sales count of over 5 million units in the United States alone.
The vocal track includes 3 verses by Eminem and the chorus by Nate Dogg. Lyrics have been assisted by the two artists along with Luis Resto.
Another interesting fact about the song is that it pretty much ‘steals’ the drums beat from the epic Queen anthem “We Will Rock You.” Listen carefully to the classic ‘2x drums and the clapping’ beat.
In February 2021, “‘Till I Collapse” surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, and was ranked the ‘Top Workout Song of All Time’ by the streaming service. It is also the most-streamed non-single in Spotify history.
Watch “‘Till I Collapse” Video by Eminem
Download “Till I Collapse” on Apple Music and Amazon
Buy ‘The Eminem Show’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon
“Till I Collapse” is an ultimate song of motivation and dedication to keep going till your last breath. For Marshall Mathers, it is all about spitting profound rap verses till he can’t stand at a mic any more. Until such day, until he collapses, Eminem says he will continue his journey with grit and wits.
In the intro to the song, Eminem levels with all of us by saying that he understands that everyone has their weak moments. It is not like Eminem was born with superhuman strength. Getting up, dusting yourself, and continuing to live is a state and product of the mind.
In the first verse of “Till I Collapse,” Eminem lays out what ‘living’ means to him. Eminem has his whole life dedicated to rap and hip hop and music in general. One could even say that he put music above all that he might have lost his personal life and relationships along the way. However, in this song, Em spits out that music is his one true goal and what he wishes to excel at until the end of his days. His music journey will not stop when he can’t spit out verses at ‘supersonic‘ speeds, but rather when cannot pen the flawless bars that he is revered for.
In the next lines, Eminem goes on to show that due to his devotion to rap, he has been able to grab a million fans all around the world. He goes on to pat on his back by saying that most of them are fans of the greats such as Tupac Shakur. At times, even Eminem wonders if he is really a true prodigy of rap and hip hop or just a manifestation of the hip hop culture rising up during the 2000s.
“Slizzles” is another manipulation of ‘Slim Shady,’ one of many alter-egos of Eminem.
Eminem Performs “Till I Collapse” with Nate Dogg Live in Vegas in 2002
Nate Dogg performs the chorus of the song, building on the theme of not giving up. The lyrics lay out that until such time the artist is physically unable to write and think and rap, he will continue on his journey.
The second verse of the song spits out what it means for Eminem to live out his dream. He says that it feels like magic to create something out of words and the whole fan base relates to it. It is a supernatural feeling to have an avid fanbase who will get inspired and change their lives for the better merely by listening to you.
In this verse, Eminem also lists down G.O.A.T.s of the industry. It is also interesting that he lists them in some sort of order; “Reggie (AKA Redman), Jay-Z, 2Pac, Biggie, André from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas, and then me…” However, Em has been the subject of a lot of hate amongst the names of this list. He compares his publicity to that of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, who had a quite publicized married life courtesy of drug abuse, physical abuse, and mental illnesses.
In the third verse of “Till I Collapse,” Eminem takes the song up a notch by gloating about his rap supremacy during the 2000s. Eminem has never backed down from a battle. In fact, he has ended some lucrative rap careers of artists who have had the falsified wits to go against him. So even though, Eminem might not be winning at every award ceremony, he knows that he is one of the best MCs to have run the show, and this feeling will keep him motivated till the end.
The most interesting fact about “Till I Collapse” is that the song is not mere words and rhyme. Eminem has lived his life true to these lyrics. In the face of many challenges and battles and struggles in his life, he has never backed down. He overcame the memories of his gruesome childhood, broken relationship with his mother, wife, and even children, drug addiction, and being hated by a larger population around the world.
Let us hear what you think about “Till I Collapse” by Eminem and Nate Dogg. Can you relate? Drop a comment below.
Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.