With 42.5 million albums sold domestically, Eminem is one of the top-selling musical artists of all-time. He is the single best-selling artist of the 21st century. Add that up with all his Grammys, VMAs, and of course his Oscar Award to see just how successful he is. Yet, for all his achievements, despite all the commercial appeal and critical acclaim, all the platinum plaques and magazine covers, despite the fact that so many people can recite so many of his lyrics by heart ("His palms are sweaty..."), Eminem still has underrated songs.
Some of these songs, these little-known gems, were released before he blew up and never discovered by the masses. Some came out and were just overlooked, and then forgotten about for one reason or another. Some were never given an official release, tucked away on a bonus disc or a mixtape or a foreign release, lost in the shuffle of his prolific output. And others, even songs that have been heard by millions, they just aren't nearly appreciated enough. All deserve a second listen.
Check out these 15 Underrated Eminem Songs that every fan should get more familiar with and every Stan will swear they already know all the words to.
Related: The Best Eminem Songs
Related: The Best Eminem Albums
Eminem "Just The Two Of Us" (1997)
Outsidaz f/ Eminem "Macosa" (1998)
Bad Meets Evil "Nuttin' to Do" (1998)
Producer: Rob "Reef" Tewlow
We dare you to find a more lyrical pairing of rappers than Eminem and Royce da 5'9". While the Detroit duo didn't team up for an official album until 2011's Hell: The Sequel, they first paired up in 1999 to release the single "Nuttin' to Do" / "Scary Movies." While "Scary Movies" became a cult classic and one of Em's more celebrated tracks, "Nuttin' to Do" is often overlooked.
"Nuttin' to Do" is typical Em in his early Slim Shady incarnation. The song is another lyrical exercise where Em does drugs, raps like a mental patient ("Nurse, look at this straitjacket, it's crooked"), and takes shots at the label A&Rs he was no doubt dealing with while trying to get a record deal. But it's just oh so clever, evidenced by lines like, "Forget a chorus, my metaphors are so complicated/It takes six minutes to get applause." —Nick Sella
Eminem & D12 "Get Back" (2000)
D12 "Shit On You" (2001)
D12 "Girls" (2001)
Thirstin Howl III f/ Eminem "Watch Deez" (1999)
Eminem "Stimulate" (2002)
Eminem "Rabbit Run" (2002)
Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto
Album: 8 Mile Soundtrack
Being featured alongside a song like "Lose Yourself"—which won an Oscar, spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard, and became the first rap song ever to be nominated for Song of The Year at the Grammys—would make any song underrated. That's the case for "Run Rabbit Run," a vintage Eminem "rapping-for-the-sake-of-rapping" track. The three minute onslaught of rhymes tells the struggle of Eminem's semi-autobiographical character Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith from 8 Mile. It has the same seize-the-moment feel of "Lose Yourself," but without the stadium rocking production. Like "Lose Yourself" and 8 Mile, it's centered around battle rapping. But this battle seems more like a marathon, and our hero is running for his life. —Nick Sella
Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. f/ Eminem & B-Real "911" (2003)
Eminem "We As Americans" (2004)
Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto
Album: Encore (Deluxe Edition)
Eminem isn't a political person, but sometimes he became a political rapper. Unlike most rappers, who barely even acknowledged things like the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Em had a field day pointing out the hypocrisy of grandstanding politicians who wanted to take him to task for cursing too much. But he got a lot more pointed on his fourth album, Encore. It features his most straight up political song, "Mosh," but the bonus disk included "We As Americans"—a song about, of all things, the Second Amendment.
After pleading guilty to possession of a concealed weapon and assault, Em got two years probation in 2001 which must have inspired bars like, "They took away my right to bear arms/What I'm 'posed to fight with bare palms?" The lines that really got him in trouble came during the second verse when he claimed, "I don't rap for dead presidents; I'd rather see the President dead/It's never been said, but I set precedents" which actually lead to a Secret Service investigation (though they admitted it wasn't a big deal). Still, it was ironic Em would rally against Bush but also rap about gun rights as the GOP has made defending the Second Amendment a part of their platform for years. —Insanul Ahmed
Eminem "No Apologies" (2006)
Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto
Album: Eminem Presents: The Re-Up
Eminem Presents: The Re-Up is a pretty forgettable entry in Eminem's catalog. The mixtape-turned-commercial-release was a vehicle to give the spotlight to the various artists that were signed to Shady Records right before Eminem's hiatus from music in the late 2000s. Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse are the faces of Shady Records today; but Cashis, Bobby Creekwater, and Stat Quo were supposed to join Obie Trice and D12 as the flag bearers for the house that Eminem built back then. The single "You Don't Know" was the only track to get major radio play but a few solid solo Eminem tracks can be found among the mostly throwaway posse remixes. The clear highlight of the entire album is this track, which feels like a leftover from The Eminem Show with its gritty Eminem production, and verses dealing with personal issues and anger towards critics. This just reminds us how much Em's drug addiction sucked because he could have been making songs like these in the five-year span between Encore and Relapse. —Nick Sella
Eminem "Elevator" (2009)
Album: Relapse: Refill
Eminem was never one to show off about money. Despite being one of the richest and most successful rappers ever, he never boasted about having loads of cash. (Ironically, most rappers who do always rap about all their money don't actually have all that much of it.) But on "Elevator" he takes a moment to step back and look at his riches and what they've brought him: A 9,000 square feet house with an elevator that's so big going to the fridge apparently takes an hour. Em is routinely praised for his lyrics, but his songwriting really shines through here. Few rappers could write a hook that's this complicated but still so damn catchy. Also, few rappers actually live in a house with an elevator. —Insanul Ahmed
Eminem "Deja Vu" (2009)
Producer: Dr. Dre
Eminem is the definition of a soul baring artist. However, that quality was overlooked in the negative reaction to Em's accents on Relapse. But "Deja Vu" is an exceptional song, one of his finest works ever. It's a harrowing song, one that highlights many of Em's core skills—his knack for complicated, half-sung hooks, his powerful lyrics, and his willingness to reveal every last detail.
And "Deja Vu" is a song all about details, right down to the Three Musketeers bar he falls asleep eating, the Cowboys and Buccaneers game he watches, and the hydrocodone he hides inside his pornos. Em always gave up the intimate details of his life, but hearing him talk about the depths of addiction was something new. Like Yogi Berra said, "It was like déjà vu, all over again." —Insanul Ahmed
Eminem "Seduction" (2010)
Producer: Boi-1da, Matthew Burnett
This song doesn't have a very original concept for a rap song. On the surface, it basically boils down to "your girl wants me because I'm the fucking man." But it's executed at such a high level. He opens with, "I feel like I'm morphing into something so incredible that I'm dwarfing all competitors/Better get your girlfriend in check, it's psychological warfare." Em came up as a battle rapper, so finding a way to diss the competition in an indirect and creative way this far into his career is a pretty impressive feat. —Brian Brooks