Eminem Reflects On Experiences As A Battle Rapper

Eminem says that his experience as a battle rapper was the "greatest thing."

BYCole Blake
MTV EMAs 2017 - Show

Eminem recently sat down with The New York Times for their “50 Rappers, 50 Stories” piece, during which he discussed the origins of his career as a battle rapper. He says that the experience was the "greatest thing" to happen to him.

“Tuesday night I would go to the Ebony Showcase on Seven Mile. Wednesday night would be Alvin’s. Friday night would be Saint Andrew’s. And then Saturday would be the Hip Hop Shop,” he told the publication. “Proof was hosting open mics at the Hip Hop Shop, and they started having battles."

Read More: Eminem Joins Ed Sheeran To Perform “Lose Yourself” In Detroit

Eminem Performs At The MTV Movie Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Recording artists Eminem performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV)

“The first one that I got in — it was actually the first battle there — I won," he continued. "And then the second battle, I won it again. I realized maybe I should try to go out of state. So I would hop in the car with friends and drive down to Cincinnati for the Scribble Jam.”

Eminem added: “Coming up in the battle scene was the greatest thing to happen to me because I knew what lines were going to get a reaction from the crowd. That’s what I would focus on. So when I got signed with Dre, I was trying to translate that to record, to get that reaction. I would picture the listener sitting there and what lines they might react to. I just used that as a formula. Like, ‘How you gonna breastfeed, Mom?/ You ain’t got no tits.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Eminem discussed Nas‘ classic album, Illmatic. While explaining that he knows the project "front to back," he revealed that it had a major impact on his own craft. The interview comes after the release of Nas' latest album, Magic 2, which dropped last Friday. Check out Eminem's full comments on Nas' Illmatic below.

Read More: Eminem Praises Nas’ Classic Album “Illmatic”


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About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.