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Hip-Hop: Why Eminem May Be The G.O.A.T.

I know many love Eminem’s style, his witty persona, storytelling ability and battle rap background but when backed against a wall how do you rank him in the class of G.OA.T?

I am a huge Jay-Z fan without a doubt and I am in agreement that Em went straight bonkers on that Renegade feature with bars like:

See, it’s as easy as cake, simple as whistling Dixie
while I’m waving the pistol at sixty Christians against me
Go to war with the Mormons, take a bath with the Catholics
in holy water no wonder they try to hold me under longer

When speaking of the best to ever do it the usual names come into play. Hov, Nas, Biggie, Tupac, Rakim and a few others are mentioned but so is Em. But the praise doesn’t end there with us the fans. Here are a few of the guys that we listen to as they describe Em:

Nas: He contributes so much lyrically and musically. He’s amazing.

Kanye West: Nobody’s gonna be bigger than Eminem.

Game: One thing that stuck with me is that Eminem is not to be
fucked with ever in hip-hop, ever.

Rakim: Eminem is nasty, man. I don’t care what color he is. I don’t care about none of that. Real artists respect real artists,
man…I tell people to this day. If Em was black, he’d be the next Muhammad Alive, man.

Kool G. Rap: can’t ignore the fact that, that boy Eminem is incredible. He’s lyrically incredible. Anybody that’s ever sat and fronted on this dude’s talent is, like, come on, man. Stop playing me.

Scarface: (after being asked if he’d ever do a track with Eminem) I’m not fin to go in there fuckin’ with that white boy, man!

J.Cole: I don’t know if I’m on his radar yet, but I used to hang Eminem’s raps on my wall.

Kendrick Lamar: Em definitely influenced a lot in my style. I don’t think nobody’s matching him now.

His influence on hip-hop is forever solidified but his place is still a mystery to some. When he first dropped “My Name Is” he wasn’t taken seriously, at least in the black community with lines like this:

And Dr. Dre said, “Slim Shady you a basehead!”
Uh-uhhh! “So why’s your face red? Man you wasted!
Well since age twelve, I’ve felt like I’m someone else
Cause I hung my original self from the top bunk with a belt

That sounded like some drunk ass rapper’s freestyle at the family reunion instead of a rap artist signed by Dr. Dre but thankfully he was just getting started. When he first hit the scene Hip-Hop were on some “yo this dude is crazy as hell”. Then it went to “this white kid can spit”. Then it jumped to ” damn he has to be put up there on the list” to ” is it wrong if we say he is one of the best to ever spit”?

Hip Hop is predominately African-American but we still have guys like Fat Joe, MC Search and others that have repped for their heritage but when fans started to look past Em’s color and stop referring to him as the nice white boy that’s when I knew he belonged in this discussion. He broke down a color barrier that was placed when an artist like Vanilla Ice tried to sneak his way into Hip-Hop but Em not only broke it down he set a standard for every MC after and even some before him.

Think about this for a moment. Hov knows Em got the best of him on that track but name a rapper that has EVER gotten the best of Em. There are rappers that have refused to get on track with the guy just because. As great as BIG was how do you think he would’ve done on a track with Em? Remember the Dead Wrong track that featured BIG’s vocals? He was deceased by then by how differently would that track had gone was he alive? For as great as Em’s verse was do you honestly think he wouldn’t have put more effort into it if BIG actually was alive to record his? Despite that this is some of what we got from Em:

He’s ready for war, I’m ready for war
I got machetes and swords for any faggot that said he was raw
My uz’ as, heavy as yours, yeah you met me before
I just didn’t have as large an arsenal of weapons before
Marshall will step in the door, I lay your head on the floor
With your body spread on the bedspread, red on the wall
red on the ceilin, red on the floor, get a new whore
Met on the second, wet on the third;
then she’s dead on the fourth – I’m dead wrong
I can throw many of his verses up here to make a point and later I will. I do this because me talking about how good he is only half the argument. I want you to see for yourself the talent this guy has. I always knew how good Em was but one day on my way to work last week while listening to my playlist one of his songs came on and as I listened that’s when it hit me that he might be the best. Granted, there are many MC’s on that Top 5 list that can spit. Storytelling (BIG), Wit (Jay-Z), Lyrical (NAS), Bravado (Tupac) but when you really pay attention there is only one that has all the tools to bring them all together on a single track with ease.
Do you want storytelling? Take a listen to Stan as he goes in-depth about an obsessed fan:
Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I’ve just been busy
You said your girlfriend’s pregnant now, how far along is she?
Look, I’m really flattered you would call your daughter that
and here’s an autograph for your brother,
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I’m sorry I didn’t see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don’t think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what’s this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists, too?
I say that shit just clowning dogg,
c’mon – how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
to help your ass from bouncing off the walls when you get down some
And what’s this shit about us meant to be together?
That type of shit’ll make me not want us to meet each other
I really think you and your girlfriend need each other
or maybe you just need to treat her better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you’ll be doing just fine
if you relax a little, I’m glad I inspire you but Stan
why are you so mad? Try to understand, that I do want you as a fan
I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge
and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid
and in the car they found a tape, but they didn’t say who it was to
Come to think about it, his name was… it was you
Do you want wit? Listen to Survival where he spits some witty bars like:
So floor’s open if you’d like to discuss
Top 5 in this motherfucker and if I don’t make the cut
What, like I give a fuck, I will light this bitch up like I’m driving a truck
To the side of a pump, 0 to 60 hop in and gun it
Like G-Unit without the hyphen, I’m hyping ’em up
So get your ideas, stack your ammo
But don’t come unless you come to battle, I’m mad now jump in the saddle
This is it, it’s what you eat, sleep, piss and shit
Live, breathe, your whole existence just consists of this
Refuse to quit, fuse is lit, can’t diffuse the wick
I don’t do this music shit, I lose my shit
Ain’t got shit to lose, it’s the moment of truth
It’s all I know how to do, as soon as I get thrown in the booth, I spit
But my respect is overdue, I’m showing you the flow no one do
Cause I don’t own no diploma for school, I quit!
So there’s nothing for me to fall back on, I know no other trade
So you better trade your fucking mics in for some tool-box-es
Cause you’ll never take my pride from me
It’ll have to be pried from me, so pull out your pliers and your screwdrivers!
But I want you to doubt me, I don’t want you to believe
Cause this is something that I must use to succeed
And if you don’t like me then fuck you!
Self esteem must be fucking shooting through-the-roof cause trust me
My skin is too thick and bullet proof to touch me
I can see why the fuck I disgust you
I must be allergic to failure cause every time I come close to it
I just sneeze, but I just go achoo then achieve!
Where would a rapper be if he didn’t think he was the best on the mic? No offense to rappers like Young Thug or 2 Chainz but there is no way anyone of them can get in the booth and spit bars proclaiming they are the King of anything. We know what the top guys can do and where they should rank but battle and attacking the mic with bravado is a trait very few rappers have. Em is one of if not THE best when it comes to this. The verse that made me realize this, the one I was listening to on the train the other day was from No Love featuring Lil Wayne. Here Em spits one of the sickest verses that I have ever heard. What makes this one of the best is that we knew what he went thru as far as losing his best friend Proof, he lost his love for making music and he was sobering up from a drug binge. It’s not about shooting people and selling drugs but a true Hip-Hop head can and will understand the pain and pride in this verse:
I’m alive again
More alive than I have been in my whole entire life
I can see these people’s ears perk up as I begin
To spaz with the pen, I’m a little bit sicker than most
Shit’s finna get thick again
They say the competition is stiff
But I get a hard dick from this shit, now stick it in
I ain’t never giving in again
Caution to the wind, complete freedom
Look at these rappers, how I treat them
So why the fuck would I join ’em when I beat ’em
They call me a freak ’cause
I like to spit on these pussies ‘fore I eat them
Man get these whack cocksuckers off stage
Where the fuck is Kanye when you need him?
Snatch the mic from him, bitch I’mma let you finish in a minute
Yeah that rap was tight
But I’m ’bout to spit the greatest verse of all time
So you might wanna go back to the lab tonight and um
Scribble out them rhymes you were gonna spit
And start over from scratch and write new ones
But I’m afraid that it ain’t gonna make no difference
When I rip this stage and tear it in half tonight
It’s an adrenaline rush to feel the bass thump
From the place all the way to the parking lot, fellow
Set fire to the mic and ignite the crowd
You can see the sparks from hot metal
Cold-hearted from the day I Bogarted the game
I so started to rock fellow
When I’m not even in my harshest
You can still get roasted ’cause Marsh is not mellow
Til I’m toppling from the top I’m not going to stop
I’m standing on my Monopoly board
That means I’m on top of my game and it don’t stop
Til my hip don’t hop anymore (shit)
When you’re so good that you can’t say it
‘Cause it ain’t even cool for you to sound cocky anymore (shit)
People just get sick cause you spit
These fools can’t drool or dribble a drop anymore
And you can never break my stride
You never slow the momentum at any moment I’m about to blow
You’ll never take my pride
Killing the flow, slow venom and the opponent
Is getting no mercy, mark my words
Ain’t letting up, relentless
I smell blood, I don’t give a fuck: keep giving them hell
Where was you when I fell and needed help up?
You get no love
You may not feel me when it comes to that verse but read that again and feel the passion he put in those bars. That’s when I knew Em had positioned himself with the game’s legends.
You thought I forgot about the best trait, the one that sets him far apart from everyone else on this list? The freestyles. Please don’t go there. Jay says he doesn’t write raps, Nas has said he is the worst freestyler ever and Pac and Big are nice but no one and I mean no one is on the level that Em is on. I can’t hit you with words I will have to provide the video, but when it was announced that he and his Slaughterhouse team would be doing the BET Cyphers we waited in anticipation and what he got was pure magic. Check for yourself:
Any questions after that? Maybe some of that was written but listening you can tell the majority of was off the top without breaking a sweat. This is what an MC is to me.
You may not like Em, may not understand him but listening to his verses you must respect his skills and what he did for the game, regardless of skin color. This dude is that nice.

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Mark Wilson
Mark began his writing career for Yahoo then Rant Sports before deciding to head out on his own at TruluvSports. Now, he is lead NBA writer as well as co-owner of Inscribermag. His topic ranges from sports, Lifestyle, Sex, live streams and more. Mark's work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, MSN, Yahoo Sports and many others. No one is perfect but he does his best to provide fans with an honest opinion and not the saturated, watered-down sports and news everyone dishes out.

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