Is Eminem The Most Egomaniacal Rapper Of All Time?

By | July 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM

From Run-DMC bragging about “My Adidas” to Foxy Brown touting “Foxy’s Bells,” hip-hop has always been a haven for men and women (but mostly men) with healthy egos and plenty of stories to tell about, well, themselves.

After all, if P. Diddy didn’t have himself and his diamond-studded life to boast about, what would be left? The collapse of WorldCom? But when it comes to morbid self-obsession, Eminem has mad psyche.

Just look at the chorus to his hit single “Without Me” for the evidence:

“Now this looks like a job for me So everybody just follow me Cuz we need a little controversy Cuz it feels so empty without me…”

Want more proof that Em has the biggest ego on wax? The number of times he gets self-referential in “Without Me” throws shade on even the most self-glorifying tracks from such historically vain rappers as Diddy, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Nelly.

Though, unlike many rappers, he’s not one to brag about his skills between the sheets (“Um… my penis is small,” he said recently when asked what his insecurities are), Slim Shady isn’t afraid to let his alter egos run wild or gripe about how everyone’s out to get him. Here’s a numerical breakdown of Em’s hip-hop solipsism, paranoia and sexual insecurity, just in “Without Me” alone, and how it compares to some other classic boast raps from some pretty boastful rappers…

Number of self-referential lyrics:

  • Eminem ("Without Me"): 67
  • P. Diddy ("Diddy"): 62
  • Jay-Z ("Izzo [H.O.V.A.]"): 59
  • Snoop Dogg ("Who Am I? [What’s My Name]"): 51
  • Nelly ("#1"): 49
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard ("Dirt Dog"): 40
  • LL Cool J ("I Need a Beat"): 28

Number of boasts of sexual prowess:

  • Diddy: 15
  • LL Cool J: 5
  • Nelly: 5
  • Snoop: 4
  • Dirty: 2 (we think)
  • Jay-Z: 1
  • Eminem: 0

Number of references to alter egos:

  • Eminem: 2
  • LL Cool J: 2
  • Jay-Z: 2
  • Dirty: 2
  • Snoop: 1
  • Diddy: 1
  • Nelly: 1

Number of lyrics about persecution/paranoia:

  • Eminem: 6
  • Jay-Z: 5
  • Nelly: 3
  • Dirty: 2
  • Snoop: 1
  • Diddy: 1
  • LL Cool J: 0

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