Album: The Tunnel
Label: Def Jam
It used to be rap artists needed to keep their credibility intact in order to be successful. Being exposed as a former CO would have been a tough one to get out of 10, 15, 20 years ago—as was having a big MTV hit, which could only mean you were a sellout, right? Eminem had to prove to the hip-hop nation (or at least remind them) that he was still S.L.I.M. If "My Name Is" had some under the mistaken impression that Em would soon go soft, he was hitting the mixtape circuit to slap them in the face and set the record straight—and not to mention get them amped for the Marshall Mathers LP. This Latin-based rhythm produced by Rockwilder finds Eminem pulling no punches, callin' out wanksters with "a fake-ass Tupac image" who ain't tough—they "just get drunk and become talkative"—years before becoming buddies with 50 and beefing with Ja Rule. You could say "If I Get Locked Up Tonight" was a bit too prophetic, as Em would be arrested six months later on gun charges.
#21. Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap f/ Eminem & Dr. Dre "If I Get Locked Up" (1999)