Eminem continues to show respect to emcees of yesteryear saying he doesn’t feel as influential as the other greats.
Throughout his illustrious career, Eminem has made a point of paying tribute to the emcees who inspired him. In a new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music‘s ‘At Home With’ series, Eminem talks about his influences, the evolution of Hip Hop among other subjects. Sitting in front of a collection of cassettes, Eminem gave the ultimate praise to his favorite artists. He said: “I know I’ve been around for a minute, but I don’t feel like honestly, in my heart of hearts, like anything I did, or anything I’ve done up to this point is more influential than they were to their era. To me, I will never mean more than they meant to their era.”
Detroit native Eminem, entered Hip Hop during what many call the golden age of the genre, the nineties. From NWA, Tupac and Snoop Dogg to Rakim, Nas and Biggie Smalls, it’s hard to disagree. However, as the genre spread, doubters and haters brushed it off and said that it would fade out. Talking with Zane about his personal experience, Eminem celebrates the evolution of Hip Hop to what we see today. “You’d never heard it before. I know that I saw and heard a lot of people say that it wasn’t going to be anything. You know what I’m saying? Like it wasn’t going to last or whatever. Here we are what, 40, 50 years later? It’s crazy. And it’s the biggest music. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the biggest genre.”
In a year that the coronavirus pandemic shut live music events off from the public, Hip Hop stepped up. We can thank 2020 for getting the whole genre talking about top rapper lists. We witnessed many lists with great artists from different eras on the same list. But Eminem thinks that people should grade them by era, not together. He also names his current favorite rappers and compares their attitude towards the craft to his own.
“I rap to be the best rapper, but I’m not the only rapper who raps to be the best rapper,” he said. “Wayne, Cole, Kendrick, Joyner Lucas. They rap to be the best rapper. And I feel like when you push yourself like that, that’s what I feel like inspires greatness. But the list, man, sometimes you almost have to go by era. Tupac. I feel like rappers like Rakim, G Rap, Kane, Treach, Pharoahe Monch. When KRS-One would drop some new sh**, it just outdid whatever was before that.”