The Underrated: 8 Mile Soundtrack

By @TrueGodImmortal

1. Lose Yourself (Eminem)
2. Love Me (50 Cent, Eminem, Obie Trice)
3. 8 Mile (Eminem)
4. Adrenaline Rush (Obie Trice)
5. Places To Go (50 Cent)
6. Rap Game (D12)
7. 8 Miles And Runnin (Jay-Z and Freeway)
8. Spit Shine (Xzibit)
9. Time of My Life (Macy Gray)
10. U Wanna Be Me (Nas)
11. Wanksta (50 Cent)
12. Wastin' My Time (Boomkat)
13. R.A.K.I.M (Rakim)
14. That's My Nigga Fo' Real (Young Zee)
15. Battle (Gangstarr)
16. Rabbit Run (Eminem)

I've gone on record to say that I believe that Eminem has been making mediocre music since about 2004 with the exception of a few tracks on each album he's released since then. However, during the year 2002, Eminem was in his prime and on top of the world. After a near classic album in The Eminem Show that went 9X platinum officially, he prepared to embark on an interesting journey with his biopic film "8 Mile". As he was getting ready to release the film, he would drop the first single from the soundtrack, which would essentially be the theme for Eminem and his film going into the promotion for it. That single? The anxious and lyrical fest "Lose Yourself", which has become one of the more iconic songs in Eminem's career. The opening verse is legendary now at this point and here's why:

"His palms are sweaty/
Knees weak, arms are heavy/
There's vomit on his sweater Already, mom's spaghetti/
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready/
to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting/
what he wrote down/
The whole crowd goes so loud/
He opens his mouth/
but the words won't come out/
He's choking how/
everybody's joking now/
The clock's run out, time's up, over, blaow!/
Snap back to reality Oh/ 
there goes gravity Oh/ 
there goes Rabbit, he choked/ 
He's so mad, but he won't/ 
give up that Easy, no/
He won't have it, he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope/
He knows that but he's broke/
He's so sad that he knows/
When he goes back to his mobile home, that's when it's
Back to the lab again yo/
This whole rhapsody/
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him/"

That is lyricism folks. Now, I've criticized Em in recent years for not really saying anything in his lyrics, but within this couplet is possibly the greatest Eminem verse of all time, if not one of the best. Em was so precise in painting his picture with the opening verse, and goes even farther on the second verse:

"The soul's escaping/
through this hole that is gaping/
This world is mine for the taking/
Make me king, as we move toward a/
New world order/
A normal life is boring, but superstardom's, close to postmortem/
It only grows harder/
homie grows hotter/
He blows, it's all over/
These hoes is all on him/
Coast to coast shows, he's known as the globetrotter/
Lonely roads, God only knows
He's grown farther/
From home, he's no father/
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter/
But hold your nose 'cause here goes the cold water/
His hoes don't want him no more, he's cold product/
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows, he nose dove and sold nada/
So the soap opera is told and unfolds
I suppose it's old partner/
but the beat goes on, Da da dum da dum da da da da/"

The vivid words, the battle with fame, the struggle to maintain it all, this is what an Eminem song that is relatable feels like. He takes you through a journey that's so intricate and he maintains that pace with another epic verse on the third verse, though it still falls a tiny bit short of the absolute brilliance of the first two. After that amazing display, what could possibly follow that? The mainstream's official introduction to 50 Cent, as he steals the show on the Eminem and Obie Trice featured "Love Me". All three MCs come with good verses, but 50 goes off and name drops some famous women and folks in the industry, some of which could be considered a diss, but it's mostly just 50 doing what he does best. If that was your time really hearing 50 Cent (for a lot of mainstream fans, it was), then this is what you got a taste of:

"My boys is crazy in the hood, they holla my name/
If it ain't about the flow, it's bout the stones and the chain/
If I was you, I'd love me too, I roll like a boss/
9-11 Porsche/ 
Same color as cranberry sauce/
I ain't gonna front, I thought R-Kelly was the shit/ 
Lemme  find out he fucking round with Bow Wow bitch/
niggas eatin popcorn, right, rewinding the tape/
now shorty momma in the precinct hollerin rape/
i'm convinced man, something really wrong with these hoes/
I thought Lil' Kim was hot, then she start fucking with her nose/
used to listen to Lauren Hill and tap my feet/
then the bitch put out a CD that didn't have no beats/
that boy D'Angelo he determined not to fail/
that nigga went butt-ass for his record to sell/
my backshots would help Ashanti hit them high notes/
and Big been taught Charlie B-more to deepthroat/"

Now, lyrically, this isn't the strongest verse on the song, as both Trice and Em bring heat, but this is somehow the standout verse on this track, a testament to 50 and his personality, especially during his run. The "title track" if you will follows next, and Eminem goes berserk yet again lyrically on the track "8 Mile". Em was truly in his prime during this period and this song is another testament to it, but the crazy part is that this is Em's flow on the song. He was going off on this track honestly and I think this is one of the 5 best songs easily on here. Possibly top 3. After this track, Obie Trice brings us a knocking track in "Adrenaline Rush", which isn't too bad, but I'm not too fond of the beat on this song. The MVP of this soundtrack might have to be 50 Cent, as he brings it with the fire track "Places To Go", armed with an infectious melody and hook on top of that classic 2002-2003 50 sound and verses. 50 definitely bring his A game on this soundtrack and right after his solo shine, he assists Em and as D-12 with their middle finger to the industry on "Rap Game".

Jay-Z and Freeway take an Eminem beat and create the dope "8 Miles And Runnin", and we see songs from Xzibit and Macy Gray as well, though neither is very noteworthy to me, honestly speaking. Another noteworthy song coincidentally that follows is the Nas track "U Wanna Be Me", which could be considered a diss to Jay or Cam'ron, as the lyrics are very interesting:

"Now slowly, thinkin of all the things that oppose me/
I think of kings who died and rappers out to dethrone me/
For they crown they head is cut off, bodies is laid, dead in the street, it's so fuckin pitiful/
First they love you, could be the bitch that even live with you/
Mad at your riches, now she switched, turned miserable/
Cause she wanna dress like Bonnie, Robin and Crystal do/
But Crystal's single, Bonnie's broke and her niggaz too/"

"You can't be me/
Not in your wildest fantasy/
It's childish/
Should I have to resort to violence?/
Pay me a half a million, I'll consult your album/
And show you how to stay off my dick... that's the thing I hate the most, can't even call you a man/
When you gotta call out my name to get you some fans/
No talent, you need direction/
You a pussy with a yeast infection/
You unlucky, I'm your fuckin C-section/
Plus I'm the last real nigga alive/
Toast glass, Ill Will, the label get high/
Realize, how many classics I gave you/
Perhaps if you think back you'll realize that I made you/"

After this scathing Nas track, we get the classic 50 track "Wanksta", which slightly feels out of place on the soundtrack, but it could totally fit into the theme of the film if we think about the Leaders of the Free World and Papa Doc, though this was somewhat a diss to Ja Rule in reality. The only downfall of this soundtrack is around the end, as the actress Taryn Manning sings as Boomkat on a strange attempt at a sensual song and Rakim spits some solid but random verses over a horrible beat. Production suffers some on the Young Zee track "That's My Nigga Fo' Real" and his lyrics and verses don't necessarily help matters much either. The hook is a bit catchy, but overall this song just doesn't do it.

Gangstarr brings a solid track with the film centered "Battle", before Em ends it off with yet another amazing display of lyricism on "Rabbit Run". His schemes and wordplay here are top notch, and while it doesn't compare to his epic verses on "Lose Yourself", it's still Em at his absolute best:

"Some days I just wanna up and call it quits/
I feel like I'm surrounded by a wall of bricks/
Every time I go to get up I just fall in pits/
My life's like one great big ball of shit!/
If I could just put it all into all I spit/
Instead of always trying swallow it/
Instead of starin' at this wall and shit/
While I sit writer's block, sick of all this shit/
Can't call it shit!/
All I know is I'm about to hit the wall, If I have to see another one of Mom's alcoholic fits/
This is it, last straw
That's all, that's it/
I ain't dealin' with another fuckin' politic/
I'm like a skillet bubblin', until it filters up/
I'm about to kill it, I can feel it buildin' up/
Blow this building up/
I've been sealed enough/
My cup runneth over, I done filled it up/"

"An MC's worst dream, I make them tensed/
They hate me, see me and shake like a chain-link fence/
By the looks of 'em you would swear that Jaws was coming/
By the screams of 'em you would swear I'm sawing someone/
By the way they runnin', you would swear the law was coming/
It's now or never, and tonight it's all or nothing/
Momma, Jimmy keeps leaving on us/
He said he'd be back
He pinky promised/ 
I don't think he's honest/
I'll be back baby, I just gotta beat this clock/
Fuck this clock! Imma make them Eat this watch/
Don't believe me Watch! Imma win this race/
And Imma come back and rub my shit in your face/ BITCH
I found my niche, You gon' hear my voice/
'Til you're SICK of it, you ain't gonna have a choice/
If I gotta scream 'til I have half a lung/
If I have half a chance, I'll grab it, Rabbit Run!/"

With a lyrical exercise like this, it was the perfect way to end off a very solid soundtrack. With 5 million copies sold, mostly good reviews and a great way to introduce 50 to the mainstream and culminate the huge run Eminem was on, the 8 Mile Soundtrack is a great addition to any playlist. Revisit and appreciate this solid piece of music.



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