Its been a good year for Eminem: along with the release of his most well-received album since The Eminem Show and a back-to-basics approach to the next stage of his career (complete with re-bleached hair), he also gave two stonking headline performances at Reading and Leeds festivals in the summer. The most infuriating aspect of the heavily anticipated and unquestionably jaw-dropping performances however, was at least to his more eager fans his insistence on shifting so quickly from one song to the next. With a few exceptions in Mosh, Not Afraid and Lose Yourself, he focused on doing one or two verses and the hook of the most popular songs of his extensive discography before mixing straight into the next one. Bizarrely, this even included the opener Survival: his then-brand new single and the promo tune for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Of course, the positives of this are obvious it allowed him to touch on songs from every corner of his discography in one night, bringing his set to a total of 26 songs (and it meant we only had to listen to a minute of Survival). But when he even brings Dido onstage to provide the chorus for his magnum opus Stan, youd expect him to at least finish it. He only did half the bloody song. So why do rappers do this? Is it to fit in as many songs as they can in a night? Is it because they get bored halfway through? In the end, it comes down to this: for rap, as much as if not more so than other genres, the verse is often more than just a part of a whole. Sometimes, a verse can be so striking, so rhythmically unstoppable and so complete that it can stand alone without needing to be contextualised by the entirety of the song. Eminem has, on more than one occasion, acquired this accolade, which perhaps explains why he doesnt mind shifting in and out of songs just to pick up on one verse that he knows sums up the song well enough on its own. For example, while some might attempt to perform entire songs that feature guest artists on their own, Mathers thankfully ignored Lil Waynes insipid opening verses to No Love at Leeds Festival this year, instead just launching straight into his own. Its not as if anyone wants to listen to Lil Wayne anyway; even if theyre coming out of Marshalls mouth. A career that has hit more crests and troughs than the British economy, Eminems is always an exciting one to cut up and analyse. Id like to celebrate the recent release of The Marshall Mathers LP to by looking at in no particular order, and without taking into account the rest of the songs themselves the best verses he has ever delivered...
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A mythical hedonist, a chronic solipsist, a poet armed with a mouth full of adjectives, a brain full of adverbs and a box full of laxatives. Writing words in a language that isn't real to impress people that I invented since The Big Bang.