Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto
Album: Encore
Label: Aftermath/Interscope
This song will go down as another achievement in his explosive arsenal of rap poems, yet listening to him recite it, he probably wishes he never had to write it. The earnest and eloquent call for a ceasefire among the warring factions in hip-hop makes effective use of pop singer Martika's evocative '80s flashback sample, but all this poignant statement needs is the dirty military drums you can feel in your soul. An "exhausted" Eminem laments days gone by, "a time when you could just say a rhyme and wouldn't have to worry about one of your people dyin'." As the leader of his crew, he vows to approach antagonistic scenarios with adult responsibility, though you can sense it's not necessarily easy for him—pride is a motherfucker. The last thing he wants is to appear weak, but something has to be done: "I'll walk away from it all before I let it go any further/But don't get it twisted, it's not a plea that I'm coppin'/I'm just willin' to be the bigger man/If y'all can quit poppin' off at your jaws with the knockin'/'Cause frankly I'm sick of talkin'/I'm not gonna let someone else's coffin rest on my conscience." The message is clear: It takes more bravery to man up than it does to pick up a gun.