Eminem is a lyrical beast, and many, including Snoop Dogg and Nas, have cited him as one of the best lyricists in hip-hop. In Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Netflix documentary The Defiant Ones, the Compton producer explained how quickly the Detroit musician (real name Marshall Mathers) could turn around verses and write rhymes.
Mathers is one of the most successful hip-hop artists ever and is a multi-Grammy- award-winning emcee. The lyricist burst onto the scene in 1999 with his legendary Slim Shady LP, and things have never been the same since for the rapper.
Akin to the way Jay-Z can write rhymes in his head, Eminem has some incredible abilities regarding the studio and his creative process. In 1999, Mathers revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Fix, that he recorded three songs in his first-ever session with Dr Dre.
Elaborating on the studio session, Mathers explained, “It’s like the beats started talking to me, and he started looking at me kinda funny like ‘Are you gonna use that as the hook?’ The more I started saying it, the engineers in the studio started saying it, so I just went in and freestyle some verses. I hadn’t had them wrote yet, then I wrote them and came back the next day!”
However, Eminem only improved over time with his recording abilities. In 2002, when the Detroit musician recorded his album The Eminem Show and the soundtrack of 8 Mile, Mathers managed to do the impossible and make a hit in one take.
8 Mile is a semi-autobiographical film starring Eminem in the lead role as Jimmy Smith, who raps under the name B-Rabbit. It showed the range he had as an actor and rapper. However, it also produced one of his most successful singles. ‘Lose Yourself.’
‘Lose Yourself ‘ was a smash hit and has gone on to become a diamond-certified single, but surprisingly, Mathers wrote the song between takes on the set of the movie and was able to record each verse in a single take during his lunch breaks while filming. These takes were pieced together and proved that even while he was recording a film, Mathers could make a hit.