When you're the biggest selling artist in the world, chances are you're going to attract some haters regardless what genre of music you're in. When you're a rap artist, those upset with you have a tendency to record dis tracks. Eminem, being a constant source of creativity and controversy, has amassed a collection of disses aimed towards him from one of the most diverse arrays in the genre's history. With the most recent one happening last month, here's a list of some of the most surprising Eminem disses.
Benzino – "Pull Your Skirt Up"/"Die Another Day"/etc. 2002/2003/2004
Starting things off, we have Eminem's most known feud with former editor of The Source, Benzino. The conflict started with Eminem originally being upset that his albums never received a full perfect five mic rating in The Source, blowing off the magazine's attempts to contact him and expressing his frustration in other interviews. After a few months, Benzino responded with a light barb addressing the alleged tension in a radio interview. Things quickly escalated into an all-our multi-volume back-and-forth that crossed-streams with the G-Unit-Murder Inc beef. Recent years have seen Benzino, somewhat apologetic about the whole thing and hoping he and Em can put the past behind them. Em's disses were some of the most potent and scathing of his career, making this probably his clearest cut victory.
Insane Clown Posse – "Slim Anus" 2000
In possibly the most late-'90s thing in the world, the Insane Clown Posse re-edited Eminem's breakthrough hit "My Name Is" for "The Howard Stern Show" to be centered around him being a homosexual. While the joke of "get it, he's GAY!" is frighteningly dated, the origins of the Em-ICP conflict and notably very old-school local music scene drama. The story goes, when Eminem was putting out one of his pre-major label indie releases, he was distributing flyers in Detroit for the release show with "Special Invited Guests: Insane Clown Posse" printed on them. Violent J, being handed one sans make-up, flipped out on an unsuspecting Marshall for his name being used without his permission and years later as Em's buzz started on underground releases, so did his shots at the Posse. As the beef went on, things progressed into pretty ugly territory with on-again/off-again ICP-affiliate Esham the Unholy speaking on Eminem's daughter on a track, leading to a physical confrontation with Em's group D12 on the Vans Warped Tour. While both parties have moved on and managed to re-invent themselves several times, it's now a weird footnote in both of their careers.
IDX featuring Debbie Mathers – "Set the Record Straight" 2001
We all know how Eminem used to dis his Mother on his breakthrough albums, and then she sued her own son, but then they reconciled, right? Well, the often overlooked chapter in this story is when Debbie herself appeared on an Eminem dis track in 2001. Titled "Set the Record Straight" and featuring rap duo IDX, it's the closest thing to a proper Mother-Son diss track we'll ever here. Super uncomfortable, just really unsettling stuff.
Evidence – "Searching 4 Bobby Fisher" 2001
As the previous entries have shown, when battles escalate, plenty of kids jump in to get their shots off. The Eminem-Everlast feud of the early 2000s which continued the tradition of the 3rd Bass-Vanilla Ice bar-setting caucazoid MC conflicts that seem to happen once a decade actually had its origins in a stray lyrics from an Everlast guest appearance on a Dilated Peoples remix. Somehow, Em heard this and tucked a few jabs at the crew ("Dilated YOU'RE violated!") leading to Peoples member Evidence recording the Eminem dis "Searching 4 Bobby Fisher." Looking at all Evidence has done since, most recently signing to Rhymesayers Entertainment and continuing a strong indie legacy, it's kind of funny to hear him with such a different style dropping an Eminem dis so early on in his career.
Young Zee – "Dear Shady" 2015
If you're a longtime Eminem devotee, you've probably heard his early independent work, namely Infinite his demo/album that while displaying some impressive lyricism, happens to sound like an extended AZ impression. Not that that's a bad thing, but the Em we know and love came to be thanks to working alongside New Jersey hip-hop favorites The Outsidaz. The influence of their members, especially Pace Won and Young Zee, rubbed off on Em, helping him shape his style into the quirky angry eccentric we've gotten to know these past 15 years. Pace and Zee both seemed to have fallen out with Em over the years due to them feeling Em hasn't continued to have their back, with an almost randomly unprovoked Pace recording "The Joker" in 2008 and then a few weeks ago Young Zee released "Dear Shady." A peculiar record, particularly how it stems from Em lovingly shouting Zee out, Zee pens a letter somewhat passive aggressively asking why Em hasn't been there to look out for him. Whether you want to call it a dis record or a response record or whatever, it's a track so bizarre it's makes Bizarre look like a bazaar.