I always thought Eminem has a unique rapping style, and wondered how he does it. I did some research and here is what I found.
First of all, everyone knows that Eminem can rap fast. In fact, we mention him a lot in our other article on how to rap faster. So we won’t talk about his obvious raw rapping speed this time around 🙂
So, how do you rap like Eminem? According to Drew Morrisey a rap coach, to rap like Eminem you want to do 5 things:
- Use internal rhymes
- Use multi syllable rhymes
- Add impersonations of people in your lyrics
- Add sounds and voices in the backing track (ad libs) to emphasise your lyrics
- Use very visually descriptive language
These are all quite difficult to get a feel for without some examples, so below I’ll give you some examples from his songs, so you can see how he does it.
I’ll also discuss whether Eminem is good at rapping, what style of rap Eminem uses, and everything you need to know about how to rap like Eminem.
What rap techniques does Eminem use?
Here’s a breakdown of each of the techniques Eminem uses so you can incorporate them into your raps, and songs
1. Use internal rhymes
Most rappers will rhyme the word at the end of each sentence. Whereas, an internal rhyme is where one of the words before the last word also rhymes with the last word.
Here’s a very simple example so you can see how to do it:
“I went to eat some lunch”
“An felt like drinking some punch”
Clearly, this is a pretty average rap, but notice how the word lunch rhymes with the word punch. This is a standard rhyme, and as you may be aware, is what makes rap sound like rap.
Compared to an internal rhyme, which would be like this:
“I went to crunch on some lunch”
“Then felt like drinking on some punch”
Notice how I’ve changed the first sentence so that one word also rhymes with the last word of the sentence. This makes it sound more intricate and interesting. And Eminem uses this A LOT in his lyrics.
When Eminem uses this technique, he also rhymes just one of the syllables in each word. An example is his song ‘My Name’. Here’s the video of it in case you forgot how it sounds:
For example, where he says:
“Hi Kids, Do you like violence?”
Notice how in the first line hi, like, and violence all rhyme with each other. Interestingly, both syllables of violence rhyme – ‘vi’ and ‘lence’.
On top of that, his lyrics also have multiple syllable rhymes. Here’s what they are:
2. Multi syllable rhymes
A multi syllable rhyme is where the internal rhyme also rhymes with the internal rhyme of the second sentence.
Here’s a simple example to show what I mean based on the previous example I used.
“I went to crunch on some lunch”
“Then was thirsty for-a-bunch of punch”
See how the first line has an internal rhyme AND the second line has an internal rhyme – crunch rhymes with lunch, and bunch rhymes with punch.
And all the internal rhymes also rhyme with each other – this is what a multi-syllable rhyme is. Eminem seems to use this almost all of the time.
I’ll use the example from ‘My Name’ again so you can see how he does it:
“Hi Kids, Do you like violence?”
“Wanna see me stick nine inch nails through my eyelids”
As you can see, the first line has syllables that all rhyme with each other. And the second line has syllables that rhyme with each other. And also the syllables that rhyme in both lines also rhyme with each other.
‘Hi’ rhymes with the ‘li’ in like, which rhymes with the ‘vi’ and ‘lence’ in violence. Which in turn rhyme with nine, which rhymes with eye, which rhymes with lids. So essentially it’s just one long string where each syllable rhymes with each other.
But it’s different from an internal rhyme because with an internal rhyme it’s only done once or twice, and then only the last word of the next line rhymes with the first line.
This makes his lyrics sound really intricate and interesting. To do this yourself, the best thing to do is sum up with what you want to say, and then mix and match words that rhyme so that you get internal rhymes, and multi-syllable rhymes.
3. Add impersonations of people in your lyrics
A common thing that Eminem does is to impersonate characters that he’s created. Other rappers like Kendrick Lamar will impersonate people in one or two songs. But it seems like Eminem does this A LOT.
Rather than explaining a situation, he will have an act out a scene where he plays both characters and they talk back and forward with each other.
For example, in the verse from the song ‘The real Slim Shady’ that goes ‘but Slim, what if you win, wouldn’t it be weird’ and then he argues back ‘why, so you can just lie to get me here, so you can sit me here next to Britney Spears.’
On top of that, he uses ‘ad lib’ where he adds references to a character from one of his skits into his song. For example, in his song ‘Rap God’ he says ‘the only Hall of Fame I be inducted in is the alcohol of fame, on the wall shame’.
And as he says ‘shame’ he does it in the low deep devil voice which is a throwback from one of his skits where he plays Satan.
This works really well because long time fans will know these characters and it makes it sound really clever, and brings back memories of his previous songs.
You’ll also notice he uses multiple syllable rhymes in that phrase – ‘hall’, ‘alcohol’, and ‘wall’ all rhyme, and ‘fame’ and ‘shame’ both rhyme..
4. Add sounds and voices in the backing track (ad libs) to emphasise your lyrics
Eminem does this a lot, and it’s really effective at immersing you in the lyrics and bringing to mind mental images.
For example, if he’s talking about a car chase, he’ll have the screeching tires of a car taking off at high speed. Another example, in the song ‘rap god’, when he says ‘all I do is drop F bombs’, and then there’s the sound of an explosion.
My favorite and probably the funniest is in the song ‘Just Lose It’ when the song suddenly stops and there’s the sound of a fart. And he says, ‘oops my CD just skipped, and everyone just heard you let one rip.’
This is probably the easiest thing to implement into your songs, you just need to think about words that have sounds and then play the corresponding sounds.
5. Use very visually descriptive language
This is something that Eminem does, and like the use of ad libs really immerses you in what he’s saying, making his music more enjoyable.
Rather than saying ‘I was walking down the road’, you can add more descriptive words such as ‘I was walking down the road feeling sleepy, and the rain was pouring down while I was standing at a street corner with no umbrella’.
To use this technique you just need to add more details about what you’re talking about, to give a really clear picture of what is going on. You can then find words that create internal rhymes, and multiple syllable rhymes.
What rap style is Eminem?
Eminem’s rapping style changes from album to album. But, he has three distinct personalities – Eminem, Slim Shady, and Marshall Mathers. Unlike some rappers today who have a similar style to each other such as Migos and Future that make what is called ‘trap music’, Eminem’s style is unique to him.
Is Eminem good at rapping?
Eminem is considered to be one of the best rappers ever. Billboard.com rates him in the top 3 best rappers behind Jay-Z, and Notorious B.I.G., and Decluttr.com, and Alltopeverything.com state that he has sold the most album sales of any rapper or hip hop artist.
There are a range of techniques you can incorporate into your lyrics and the backing track to sound like Eminem such as:
- Using internal rhymes
- Using multi syllable rhymes
- Adding impersonations of people in your lyrics
- Adding sounds and voices in the backing track (ad libs) to emphasise your lyrics
- Using very visually descriptive language