The 25 Best Eight-Bar Verses in Rap History

9. Eminem on "Say What You Say" (2002)

"And it's back and forth all day like Red and Meth/
I joke when I say I'm best/
In the booth, but a lot of truth is said in jest/
And if I ever do live to be a legend/
I'ma die a sudden death/
Five mics in The Source, ain't holdin' my fuckin' breath/
But I'll suffocate for the respect/
'fore I'll breathe to collect a fucking check"

This verse is special because of just one line. It might be the line that best summarizes Em's catalog, "I joke when I say I'm best/In the booth, but a lot of truth is said in jest." By the time Em spit this line, he actually was the Best Rapper Alive and there was no competition. But it's the Chaucer worthy second part that hits so close to 8 Mile Road. Especially early in his career, fans had a hard time navigating between the truth and fiction in Em's lines and wrote off his rhymes at face value even though Eminem revealed so much about himself amidst jokes about rape and murder. Much like Benzino—whom Em takes a light shot at here—we would eventually feel his wrath. —Insanul Ahmed

Tags: eminem
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