Since creating musical chaos with “My Name Is” in 1999, one of Detroit’s finest rappers, Eminem has consistently created monster hit after hit. With these tracks, we have seen some of the most creative and controversial music videos.
Historically, Eminem has always loved to tell stories through his verses, and his music videos have been no different. His visuals have been consistently dope at exhibiting his rhymes. Of course, we can also trust Slim to keep the humor on deck with his love of parodies, and bold statements. Here, we give you ten of Marshall’s best videos.
10You Don’t Know (2006)
A star-studded track no doubt requires a star-studded video. With cameo’s from 50 Cent, Cashis, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, The Alchemist, Young Buck, D12, Bobby Creekwater, Obie Trice, Mobb Deep, Trick Trick, Dr. Dre & Stat Quo, this was no doubt a must-see video when it was released. It was set in a prison, with Eminem and the others playing locked up criminals. Sporting orange jump suits, this visual was a little reminiscent of a crime movie. True to his crazy form, Eminem also kept it crazy wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask.
9Lose Yourself (2002)
You cannot fault this video with its beautiful shots of Detroit, Michigan. Whilst the track was created for the soundtrack to Marshall’s movie 8 Mile, the video showed scenes from the film side by side with Eminem’s real life showing just how similar he is to the character of Rabbit from the film. Gritty, dark and full of inspiration, the video proved what Eminem was really about, not to mention showing off his impressive acting abilities from the film.
8Love The Way You Lie (2010)
Despite the breaks in his career and how has music has evolved, Eminem has certainly not given up his affinity for cinematic music videos. Commercially a huge hit, “Love The Way You Lie” showed Slim spit verses about an abusive, destructive relationship with Riri singing on the hook.
Mathers enlisted director Joseph Kahn to shoot the video, casting actress Megan Fox and British actor Dominic Monaghan playing the couple. Kahn had worked on a few of Shady’s music videos in the past, but never had he dealt with such a topic with the rapper before. With some incredible acting, Fox and Monaghan display a tumultuous, tug of war relationship to accompany Eminem’s lyrics. This video had a number of reactions not only from music critics, and the entertainment world, but also various women’s groups.
7When I’m Gone (2005)
Whilst on other occasions Eminem had us in tears of laughter, he showed a much more vulnerable side in the video for “When I’m Gone”. Around this time, Shady himself admitted that he was unaware of what was next for him, with his life in flux. This track exposed his feelings of guilt, uncertainty, and reflection regarding his regret of possibly not spending enough time with his daughter Hailie.
From the pictures we’ve seen of Em’s daughter, the actress playing Hailie looked quite similar to her as Eminem plays a father who doesn’t have enough time for his daughter. An actress also was used to depict Marshall’s on-off wife Kim. For Eminem fans and the world, we all got a true insight into a softer side of the rapper, exposing his personal fears.
6Without Me (2002)
When Eminem released “Without Me” after the success of The Marshall Mathers LP, he sent a strong message, proving he was here to stay with this track. The video once again did not fail, channeling a similar vibe to “My Name Is” with it being full of parodies. Attacking television, the visuals took form in a comic book style but included Slim playing dress up once again. This time it included a parody of CNN, with Marshall creating his own news channel, ENN and dressing up at Osama Bin Laden. He also threw jabs at E!’s reality TV programmes as he tries to save the world in his own special way as a superhero.
5Like Toy Soldiers (2005)
Eminem took a more serious stance upon his release of “Like Toy Soldiers” back in 2005, with a video that vividly displayed his concerns about violence in the rap community.
The video begins with a white and black child reading a large book which opens up into the story that Eminem tells in the video. The scenes then capture D12 member, Proof fighting for his life after a violent altercation. Slim’s video both impressively and clearly displayed the meaning of his lyrics which detailed his own fallouts with Benzino and involvement in the Murder Inc. beef.
Just a year a later, Eminem’s fellow D12 member Proof would sadly be shot as a result of a fight in Detroit’s own CCC nightclub.
4Guilty Conscience (1999)
From The Slim Shady LP, Eminem released this monster track with the perfect video to compliment this provocative track. Em being the crazy devil, and Dr. Dre being the angelic voice of reason rapped the competing perspectives for some sticky situations. This included a man tempted to rob a liquor store and a student at a frat party considering having sex with an underage girl.
The video was smart, unique and carefully crafted for the track, with narration from actor Robert Culp, and freeze frames as Marshall and Dre laid out their verses for each dilemma.
3The Real Slim Shady (2000)
The Detroit star used this video to continue his attack on celebrities, music award shows and pop music.
Though still somewhat in the early days of his career, the reign of Slim Shady had well and truly taken off as he surrounded himself with clones in the video, asking the “real Slim Shady, please stand up”. The visuals here didn’t fail in it’s humor with a shameless Eminem spitting in a customer’s onion rings in his much-hated fast food job. Let’s also not forget the hilarious fight between the ‘real’ Fred Durst and Carston Daly over a blow up doll depicting one of Em’s favorite people, Christina Aguilera.
No doubt one of his biggest tracks from his discography, Eminem took this video to new levels here essentially creating a mini-movie. Telling the story of a crazed fan, “Stan” who is obsessed with Slim, the visuals depict every part of Em’s detailed verses. Eventually his crazy fixation with the rapper leads him to his own destruction.
The video starred Canadian actor Devon Sawa, who played Stan, and UK singer Dido acting as his wife. The visuals for this track kept us gripped from beginning to end, but of course the best Shady videos always come with controversy. The visuals most of us have seen on television are heavily censored, with the real version being approximately eight minutes long. MTV chose to delete certain scenes which included Dido being gagged and also Stan’s heavy drink driving.
1My Name Is (1999)
No one could have ever guessed how huge Eminem would become from this track. Directed by Phillip Atwell, the video to Marshall’s debut single from his debut album would be just as explosive as the song.
In this classic, Eminem poked fun at the typical American family watching the rapper play various different roles including President Bill Clinton and rock star Marilyn Manson. The video was controversial, with the song shocking the world and bringing something to rap that had never yet been seen before.