Eminem has been in the game a long, long time. His first released album came out back in 1996. Infinite is lesser known but is full of raw hits, produced by Web Entertainment. Web Entertainment also produced Em’s more well known release, The Slim Shady LP, which was used to sell Dr. Dre and the Aftermath label.
Since starting this writing gig at Lyrically Rap, I’ve heard a few artists and fans say that the first song on the album is supposed to be dopest. I’m not sure that’s always the case, but these days, the first song is important.
On streaming platforms, the first song of an album is usually the “Simon Cowell” moment for the listener. If the first song isn’t fire, a listener will probably just move on, missing any greatness that may have come after that first track. That first song has to be dope! To pull the listener in.
Or, I may just be speaking completely out of my ass.
Regardless, I thought it would be fun to go back in history and take a look at all the first songs on Eminem’s albums. I’m not going to rate them or anything. Everything Slim puts out is gold in my opinion. We’ll just go from Infinite to Music to be Murdered By. I’ll skip over the intros to each album and only grab the first song of each album.
Infinite – Infinite (1996)
This raw song from Eminem shows that even back then, Eminem was bringing the fire. The song has a mixture of the nostalgic sound from the ’90s mixed with an underground vibe.
My Name Is – Slim Shady LP (1999)
For a lot of us, My Name Is was our introduction to Slim Shady. I was 13 when this song came out. My dad had bought the CD to check out the hype. He didn’t know what he was in store for, after listening to mainly country and soft rock. I was an instant fan, and I think my dad was too.
Kill You – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
I thought Marshall was the lighter side of his egos? Wasn’t Shady supposed to be spitting lyrics like this? All kidding aside, this song was and still is great.
White America – The Eminem Show (2002)
We saw a two year break between The Eminen Show and The Marhsall Mathers LP, man that wait must have sucked. I realize now why Slim was always saying he was back in at least one song. White America‘s message resonates today, as much as it did back in 2002.
Evil Deeds – Encore (2004)
2004. We were seniors in high school. It was a time of drinking and debauchery. It was good time, but dark times as well. I think this album really shows the spiral of drug abuse and darkness that were taking us all back in 2004.
3 a.m. – Relapse (2009)
Five years later, after overdosing, loss of Proof, and all kinds of other crap, Eminem returns with Relapse. We all had grown up a lot by this point, and so had Eminem’s sound. It was refined. Matured. Great.
Cold Wind Blows – Recovery (2010)
Recovery is the first of Eminem’s albums to not feature a skit as the opening. This song mostly comes off as Eminem just saying screw it, and just throwing stuff out there to rile people up. He knows what sales.
Bad Guy – The Marshall Mathers LP2 (2013)
This album follows its predecessorand goes with a song over an intro for the number one billing on the album. In this song, we get to meet Matthew Mitchell, Stan’s little brother from the original Marshall Mathers album. During the song, Matthew plans Marshall’s murder the same way Stan planned his wife’s demise. Eminem wanted to connect the two LP’s, and he started with the connection right in the beginning.
Walk On Water – Revival (2017) Featuring Beyoncé
In Walk on Water we get a real look at Eminem. A glance behind the curtain, behind the evil mask of Slim Shady. He’s speaking of his challenges of living up to his greatness. Everything he does has to be great, and there’s stress that comes with that. Eminem is just letting us know he’s human. This was four years after Rap God released, so maybe he just had enough of people thinking he was something more than what he was.
The Ringer – Kamikaze (2018)
The Ringer is still fresh in a lot of our minds. The whole Kamikaze album was straight, and the Ringer was the perfect way to start it out.
Unaccommodating- Music to Be Murdered By (2020) Featuring Young M.A.
The latest release, Music To Be Murdered By, gives us Unaccommodating with Young M.A.. Its a good song for a great album. Get out from under that rock if you haven’t heard it yet.
11 Albums. 11 First Songs. These songs could make their own album that would hit the top of the charts. They’re all great, and all good representations of Eminem’s talents.
Which one is your favorite?