25. Eminem "The Real Slim Shady" (2000)
Producer: Dr. Dre, Tommy Coster
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP
Label: Aftermath, Interscope
In a 1999 episode of Behind the Music, Dre admitted that he knew Eminem's "My Name Is" would be a hit because it was the most annoying song he'd ever heard. That essence of annoyance was used to even greater effect on 2000's "The Real Slim Shady," which transformed the yellow head from Detroit into a global brand.
The song marked Dre's first collaboration with Mike Elizondo, the bassist and multi-instrumentalist who would become his constant collaborator in the years that followed. The inimitable keyboard figure—a loony's tickle of harpsichord—was played by another Dre associate, Tommy Coster, son of famed Santana keyboardist Tom Coster.
Eminem's reflexive anthem inspired hundreds of imitations, the best of which has to be "The Real Sin Savior" by the Pittsburgh-based evangelical group ApologetiX: "Will Smith don't gotta discuss the Christian path to salvation/Well, I do—it affects him and affects you too." SMH.