Eminem has quickly become one of the most flagrantly successful rappers of all time. Not content with being restricted to the hip-hop charts, Eminem took rap mainstream in a big way. Marshall Mathers is now rightly revered as one of the greatest to ever pick up a mic, with his place on hip-hop’s Mount Rushmore almost guaranteed. However, even Em would feel a little bit nervous about meeting a legend like Funkmaster Flex.
One of the greatest hip-hop Djs to ever grace the decks, Funkmaster Flex has seen all of the greats pass by in his years at the forefront of hip-hop. Starting out in 1987, Flex managed to predict the huge boom of rap creativity in the 1990s and became a prophet for its burst into the mainstream. Put simply, he knows what he’s talking about.
It means when he was asked to pick out some of the finest moments from Eminem’s astounding career he was ready and able to pound home some classic songs. However, perhaps surprisingly, Flex picked out Eminem’s poppiest anthem ever, ‘Stan’ as his favourite song.
Speaking with Complex, Flex said: “I have to say ‘Stan’ is my favourite because I still listen to ‘Stan’ and wonder if there’s going to be a different ending, I don’t know. I swear, I catch something different in the song every time.” Similarly, Flex noted some of Em’s biggest hits when picking out his favourite album too.
“The first or second album. I really got favourite songs,” confessed Flex. “But ‘Stan,’ that was the second album, right? Yeah. I still listen to ‘Stan’.” Likewise, the pick of his favourite ‘moment’ from Em is equally mainstream. “To be honest, I really enjoyed the movie 8 Mile, noted the Hot 97 DJ. “You know why? Because he was OK with not being the cool kid. How many rappers or people you see in movies that would be OK with that? He was like ‘OK, I’m going to get punched in my face here.’ He was OK with that. How many rappers have you seen in movies who just play the image that they are? Maybe Will Smith, no disrespect to him but he was always an entertaining, non-hardcore rapper.
“For me, when I watched that movie for the first time, I’m sure some of it was true, some of it wasn’t, but to be OK with all that [was dope]. Remember, that was before the Internet was crazy popping. He was OK with showing that. I thought it was cool. It’s cooler to me now than when I was watching it because now I go, ‘Damn a lot of other rappers didn’t do that.’ You remember 50 Cent’s movie right? You know and I love 50, but I don’t think 50 would’ve put himself in that type of a position. Would he? I think Em’s movie would’ve been just as successful either way, but I like that he did that. I look at it now in 2014, I like it even more now because a lot of artists didn’t do that.”
It was perhaps expected that the man responsible for bringing hip-hop into the mainstream at the turn of the 1990s would be largely in love with Eminem’s most popular work. However, he likes these songs, albums and film not because they achieved great success but because they spoke to a wide set of people.