There’s no question that ever since “Lose Yourself,” Eminem has pumped out some of the most motivational songs in all of music. While not much can live up to the ferocity of the aforementioned Oscar-winning track, Em still has a robust catalog of songs that should be the soundtrack to your New Year’s resolutions.
From raps about scratching and clawing out of the slums to tracks about living to your full potential, consider this list your Eminem 2016 playlist for those times when you just want to give up. When those times do occur, pop one of these on, and get that fire back in your belly.
Quote: “No more games, I’m a change what you call rage/ Tear this motherf*cking roof off like two dogs caged/ I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed/ I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage”
For: Finishing a project or quest, no matter how hard it is.
It’s possibly one of the most inspirational songs, not just in the history of rap, but in the history of music. Eminem flowed away the growing pains of trying to achieve stardom in rap, while fighting the obligatory obstacles that come from being a white man in a minority-based art form. It’s a song that should fuel you through the tough times when you think you’re just not good enough, or when you think your best shot is nothing more than a mistake.
“Guts Over Fear”
Quote: “So, this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt of one day just getting accepted/ I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song/ And everything you’re scared to say, don’t be afraid to say no more/ From this day forward, just let them a-holes talk”
For: Instilling yourself with the courage to push past limits.
With deep, pulsating piano chords, and Sia’s soaring inflection, “Guts Over Fear” is one of those under-appreciated Eminem songs from the twilight of his career. It’s an ode to keep pushing through no matter how much criticism you receive — keep your focus on your mission and your motivations, and let the haters hate.
Quote: “Thought I had it mapped out, but I guess I didn’t/ This black cloud’s still follows me around/ But it’s time to exercise these demons/ They’re all doing jumping jacks now!”
For: Realizing that mistakes are just teachable moments.
Eminem’s struggles with addiction are well documented (for the uninitiated, listen to “Deja Vu”), and “Not Afraid” is his comeback song. This is song is a dedication, not just to those who have struggled with substance-abuse, but to anyone who has had demons that they had to beat back to move forward. Em, in his trademark self-deprecating sensibility, even disses his previous album and acknowledges his past mistakes.