First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History

16. Eminem "Kill You" (2000)

Producer: Dr. Dre, Mel-Man
Album: Marshall Mathers LP
Label: Aftermath, Interscope


"Kill You" exemplifies a sonic approach that Dre and Mel-Man devised specifically for Eminem. You know the sound when you hear it—it is squiggly and mischievous and strangely Bach-inflected. On his first album Em had been wobbly and impish while the beats were crisply tailored but with "Kill You" the beat is impish while Eminem's delivery becomes increasingly terse. The rapper's posse expanded in the wake of The Slim Shady LP and by the time Marshall Mathers LP appeared in 2000 he was writing routines for all six of the voices in his head. "Kill You" is a riddle written by a schizophrenic who watched too many horror flicks and was now dealing with the pressure of being the most visible pop star in the United States. "Know why I say these things? / Cause lady's screams keep creeping in Shady's dreams / And the way things seem I shouldn't have to pay these shrinks / This 80 G's a week to say the same things tweece / Twice? Whatever, I hate these things / Fuck shots! I hope the weed'll outweigh these drinks." —Sam Sweet

Tags: eminem
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