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Nowadays, it’s not much of a hot take for someone to declare Eminem one of the greatest rappers of all time. Under the controversy and provocateur is a man who clearly respects the art of rap and continues to push his boundaries the older he gets.
He’s not just an inspirational figure as an artist but as a person, too. He has overcome his own demons and proved to fans across the world that they can also self-improve. Through his music, Eminem has made a handful of tracks with motivational lyrics that have become some of his most beloved songs.
Whether it be the triumphant “Not Afraid” or resilient “Soldier,” Eminem’s music has the power to inspire, and the following songs speak to that. These are 15 Eminem lyrics to inspire you.
1. Lose Yourself: “You better lose yourself in the music / The moment, you own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”
Arguably Eminem’s most well-known song, “Lose Yourself” is an inspirational track from beginning to end, which is primarily thanks to its chorus. You don’t have to be an aspiring rapper to appreciate the sentiment expressed in this song. Anything you’re passionate about, you’re going to give your all to, and when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself you’re going to take it. Eminem took his opportunity and look where he’s at — he’s come a long way from vomiting up his mom’s spaghetti.
2. Survival: “But I want you to doubt me, I don’t want you to believe / ‘Cause this is somethin’ that I must use to succeed / And if you don’t like me, then f**k you!”
Throughout life, you’re always going to run into doubters but there’s power in using that doubt as motivation. This is something that Eminem knows all too well. There was a time when the Detroit rapper was viewed with skepticism, especially as a white rapper coming up during the time that he did. But all that doubt served as ammunition for his lyrical arsenal, pushing him to become the best and calling out anyone who dismissed him.
3. Phenomenal: “However long that it takes / I’ll go to whatever lengths / It’s gonna make me a monster though / I am phenomenal / But I’ll never say, ‘Oh, it’s impossible’ / ‘Cause I’m born to be phenomenal.”
Taken from the Southpaw soundtrack, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “Phenomenal” is meant to be an empowering song about believing in yourself and what you want in life. To achieve what you want is to believe that it’s possible to attain. But even when you believe in something, it’s likely going to take time to make it a reality. So, you’ve got to remain committed to it. It’s through that process that you really learn just how phenomenal you are.
4. Not Afraid: “I’m breakin’ out of this cage / I’m standin’ up, I’ma face my demons / I’m mannin’ up, I’ma hold my ground / I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up / Time to put my life back together right now.”
The chorus of “Not Afraid” is obviously the most inspirational part of the song, but these lines from the bridge shouldn’t go unnoticed. At this point in the track, Eminem is tired of living the way that he is. He wants to face his demons and take control of his life for the better, which is a sentiment that — although daunting — is something we should all aspire for ourselves. It’s understandable to be afraid when unlearning habits that have done more harm than good to us. But it is when we prove to ourselves that we’re able to do this that we see how it was worth it in the end.
5. Godzilla: “A hundred percent of you is a fifth of a percent of me / I’m ’bout to f**kin’ finish you, b**ch, I’m unfadable / You wanna battle, I’m available, I’m blowin’ up like an inflatable / I’m undebatable, I’m unavoidable, I’m unevadable.”
Sometimes you’ve just got to be brash and remind someone why you’re not one to be played with. “Godzilla” stands out because of Eminem’s lyrical delivery, and he backs up the confidence in these lines with rapid-fire wordplay throughout the track. When you’re really good at something, it’s fine to talk that talk, especially in the face of someone who thinks that they can step on you.
6. Legacy: “I used to be the type of kid that would always think the sky is fallin’ / Now I think the fact that I’m differently wired’s awesome.”
As someone who has been vocal about his mental health in his music, this line from Eminem’s “Legacy” sticks out. Our minds are all different from one another, and it’s important to support those who may deal with a mental disorder or just interpret the world differently. It’s OK to be different. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
7. Lucky You: “Levels to this s**t, I got an elevator / You could never say to me I’m not a f**kin’ record breaker / I sound like a broken record every time I break a record / Nobody could ever take away the legacy I made, I never cater.”
When you’ve proven yourself time and time again, why would you not acknowledge your greatness? As you achieve accomplishment after accomplishment, you’re building a legacy that speaks to your consistency. Anyone who tries to diminish or underestimate your greatness would be foolish to do so, especially when you have the record to back it up.
8. Till I Collapse: “‘Til the roof comes off, ’til the lights go out / ‘Til my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth / ‘Til the smoke clears out, am I high? Perhaps / I’ma rip this s**t ’til my bones collapse.”
When you’re committed to something, you give it your all until there’s nothing left. You’ve got to push yourself for what you want to achieve. For Eminem, that’s being one of the greatest rappers of all time. For you, that all depends on what you desire to excel at. No matter what it is, you’ve got to dedicate yourself to it.
9. Believe: “But it’s never too late to start a new beginnin’ / That goes for you too, so what the f**k you gon’ do? / Use the tools you’re given!”
A constant challenge in life is making a new beginning for yourself. Oftentimes, it’s scary to do. Even when we need to change our lives for the better, we try to postpone it or give up entirely — especially when we feel that it’s too late to change. But, there’s always time to become a better version of yourself. You’ve got to be the one to initiate that new beginning because no one is going to do it for you.
10. You’re Never Over: “So God, just help me out while I fight through this grievin’ process / Tryna process this loss is makin’ me nauseous / But this depression ain’t takin’ me hostage, / I’ve been patiently watchin'”
Grief can have a powerful hold on us. Processing it is never easy. One moment we may accept what has happened, and the next we’re depressed all over again wondering why it had to happen. All we can do is try to fight grief, especially when we feel ourselves succumbing to it. We have to remember that there’s something past that grief, and although it takes time to get to that point, our pain doesn’t last forever.
11. No Regrets: “For those who feel low like you’re ’bout spiralin’ / But this is only for those that I’m inspirin'”
Eminem has endured his own demons. Familial issues, addiction — he’s been candid about what he’s dealt with in hopes of helping his fans overcome their own problems. These lines from “No Regrets” speak to that. No matter how low you feel or if you feel like you’re spiraling, Eminem is there to remind you that you’re stronger than you know.
12. Guts Over Fear: “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.”
We all want to be accepted for who we are, and for people to try to understand us rather than dismiss us. It’s a truth that we’re sometimes afraid to admit to other people, let alone ourselves. But Eminem wants you to know that you’re not alone in that.
13. Zeus: “But a fighter’s all I knew how to be / I got the s**t beat out of me / Tripped and fell and blew out a knee / Popped it back in and hopped up like, ‘F**k it / Best two out of three,’ yeah.”
Life is always going to throw punches at you, and all you can do is get back up and keep the fight going. Eminem has fought to be where he’s at. Before he was a beloved rap star, he was trying to win battles against other Detroit rappers at The Hip Hop Shop and other rap battle events. Some he lost and others he won. He’s proof that you have to keep getting back up when you lose, so that you can have another day to try and win.
14. Kings Never Die: “I went from powdered milk and Farina / To flippin’ burgers on the grill for some peanuts / At Gilbert’s to arenas, call me Gilbert Arenas / Still appeal to the dreamers.”
The imagery of Eminem’s rags to riches rise is so vivid here. He used to eat powdered milk and porridge, and work a day job cooking burgers for terrible pay. Now, he’s rapping in arenas to fans who know the words to countless songs from his discography. He appeals to the dreamers because he was once a dreamer himself. He was a man who dreamed of becoming great at his passion and turned it into a reality, serving as an inspiration for others who want to do the same.
15. Soldier: “I’m a soldier / These shoulders hold up so much / They won’t budge, I’ll never fall or fold up / I’m a soldier / Even if my collar bones crush or crumble / I will never slip or stumble.”
Perseverance is key in all facets of life. We’re always carrying some sort of baggage with us throughout our lives or dealing with unexpected challenges. No matter what, it’s important to remain strong and steadfast in the face of pressure to achieve our goals — whether that be a successful career or becoming a better person.