Beat blueprint: Moody keyboards and rigid 8th note drums
Signature beat: Eminem “Lose Yourself” (2003)
Beat clones: Eminem “The Way I Am” (2000), Jay-Z “Moment of Clarity” (2003), Nas “The Cross” (2002)
With his inventive flows and rapidfire delivery, Eminem established himself early on as a rapper who knew a thing or two about rhythm. But when he began to play a bigger and bigger role in the production of his blockbuster albums, first co-producing with Jeff Bass and then making tracks on his own, it became clear that Em was far more of a minimalist as a beatmaker than as an MC. All that empty space in his slow, spare beats left the perfect amount of room for Marshall Mathers to rap his ass off.