Eminem’s lengthy career has been littered with various endeavors, but the projects he attaches himself too always seem to make sense– he’s not out here making frivolous moves just ’cause. From producing for select artists, to forming his own label Shady Records, to working on movies like “8 Mile,” it’s usually something that hits home for Em. It was announced the other month that the rapper would be executive producing the upcoming film, “Southpaw,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whittaker and Rachel McAdams. Eminem’s contribution to the film is unsurprising if you know the movie’s history– the movie’s screenwriter Kurt Sutter initially wanted Em to play the lead role, stating that the movie was inspired, in part, by Eminem’s well-known history.

With the single from the soundtrack, “Phenomenal,” released last night, we decided to look back at other instances where Em provided heat for a movie’s soundtrack. Obviously “8 Mile” couldn’t be avoided, but there are also contributions he made to the “Next Friday” soundtrack, “Tupac: Resurrection,” and more.

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Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

“Off the Wall” (feat. Redman)

Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Though we can’t attest to the quality of the second installment of Eddie Murphy’s “Nutty Professor” series, the sure highlight off the soundtrack was this collaboration between Redman and Eminem. On “Off the Wall,” they bust back-to-back diabolical flows over an Erick Sermon production. Two of the most gloriously insane cats of a bygone era, it’s a pity they didn’t link up more often. 

 

“One Day at a Time” (feat. Outlawz)

Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

Tupac: Resurrection 

Eminem helped produced the soundtrack for the 2003 documentary “Tupac: Resurrection,” which, of course, documented the life of Tupac Shakur, one of Em’s biggest heroes. For the soundtrack, Em organized a track that included both Pac and B.I.G., “Runnin’ (Dyin’ to Live),” but he also put himself on a record with Pac, and the Outlawz: “One Day At a Time.” Makes you think what could’ve been…

 

“Go to Sleep” (feat. DMX & Obie Trice)

Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

Cradle 2 the Grave

“Go to Sleep” is straight murder rap, from three ruthless rappers who’ve never shied away from blood and guts. On the chorus, Em tries to put away a near-corpse that just won’t seem to sleep, each hack punctuated by one of X’s signature ad-libs. Definitely scarier than any scene from “Cradle 2 the Grave.” 

 

“Murder, Murder”

Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

Next Friday

“Murder, Murder” actually appeared on Eminem’s debut EP, The Slim Shady EP, put out in ’97, before he met Dre, or anyone outside of Detroit, for that matter. In 1999, Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, which, of course, earned him instant fame, and later that year, a version of “Murder, Murder” would land on the “Next Friday” OST, which Dre produced. Despite the song title, “Murder, Murder,” shows a relatively calm young Marshall. He nonchalantly documents how his bleak surroundings have turned him into a criminal, and we get an early glimpse at the demons Em would continue to fight for years to come. 

 

“Lose Yourself” 

Eminem's Top 5 Songs From Movie Soundtracks

8 Mile

No surprise here. “Lose Yourself” was the first rap song to ever win an Academy Award, since followed by Three 6 Mafia’s “Hard Out Here” and Common & John Legend’s “Glory.” The goosebump-inducing instrumental has become one of the most recognizable ever, still being played in football stadiums and in angsty teenager’s headphones across the country. Eminem’s story has never been told better than on “Lose Yourself,” the song we’ll always associate with “8 Mile,” even though it doesn’t play until the ending credits.