“Just Don’t Give a F***” by Eminem

“Just Don’t Give a F***” is a song that Eminem came out with prior to becoming famous. And anyone familiar with his well-publicized personal history knows that he was going through a number of economic challenges, such as a new baby and a faltering music career, at this point in his life. Also as explained by Em in his “Angry Blonde” book, he began to really start using drugs and alcohol. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Eminem's Just Don't Give a F*** at Lyrics.org.

All of this combined culminated in the artist being just like ‘f*** it’, and resultantly the era of “Slim Shady” was born. Indeed Marshall’s transformation in this song was so different from most of the material he put out previously that, according to his own account, his established fans were confused.

And of course the “Slim Shady” persona is characterized by the rapper pretty much saying any crazy sh*t that comes to mind. So after most notably giving the crew he was a part of in those days, “the Dirty Dozen”, a shoutout in the intro, we find the vocalist at the commencement of the first verse comparing himself to the “brain dead” Jim Brady. Brady is someone who basically took a bullet to the head for former US President Ronald Reagan and in the aftermath suffered accordingly. And using such a real-life individual to point to one’s own metaphorical craziness would of course be deemed tasteless by some listeners. But again, this is Slim Shady.

Some more Celebrity Name-dropping

It can also be said, as illustrated in this song, that Eminem was perhaps the rapper who established the to-this-day well-trodden standard of namedropping a bunch of celebrities in one’s lyrics. So in the first verse, we are also met with references to NFL coach Mary Schottenheimer and world-famous boxer Mike Tyson. 

Later on in the song, the likes of Tupac and Rage Against the Machine are also mentioned. And Em closes the first verse by comparing himself to Ron Goldman, i.e. the man who, in 1994, was infamously murdered alongside Nicole Brown Simpson, i.e. O. J. Simpson’s ex-wife.

My aim is to F*** the World Up!

The chorus then alludes to Eminem really being on that “f*ck the world” tip, i.e. popping up on the street “with two glocks” and just shooting sh*t up. But all things considered, no one took such fantasies, if you will, literally. 

Eminem, despite being down with Interscope Records, isn’t someone who you’d genuinely consider to be a gangsta rapper. And even back then, everyone kinda understood that when he gets to boasting like this, as controversial as alluding to a mass shooting in such a context may be, he was doing so metaphorically, to lead to the concept of being mentally disturbed or what have you. And as relayed, part of his angst was founded in the fact that at the time he wrote these lyrics, his career was floundering.

The Attacks

But even if Eminem ain’t a gangsta rapper, he is very much battle-oriented. So at the beginning of the second verse, he throws jabs at the likes of 3rd Bass, Vanilla Ice, Everlast and another dude known as Milkbone. Listeners who are actually familiar with those musicians will know that they are all White rappers. And most of them did proceed to drop counter-disses against Eminem.

What “Just Don’t Give a F***” is all about

Overall the purpose of this song is for the vocalist to present himself as, most simply put, a villain. From a poetic standpoint, he’s just as deranged as the antagonist you’d see in a movie or TV show. And in reality, he isn’t the first rapper to have adopted such a motif.

Lastly, it can be said that from a financial standpoint, Eminem becoming Slim Shady (as encouraged by his homey, Proof) was a wise decision, as Mathers has been able to the associated use controversial lyrics and standard of presenting himself as a madman as vital ingredients in his formula to become, by far, the best-selling rapper in industry history.

Eminem's "Just Don't Give" Lyrics

When was “Just Don’t Give a F***” released?

“Just Don’t Give a F***” is likely an Eminem song that most readers particularly never heard of. But it is in fact the earliest single in his discography. Officially being released on 13 October 1998, the song dates back to 1997’s “Slim Shady EP”. It was also featured on Marshall’s breakthrough album, 1999’s “The Slim Shady LP”, serving as the lead single for both of those projects.

Actually, Eminem came out with a full-length album prior to “The Slim Shady LP”, that being 1996’s infinite. But as implied at the beginning of this section, the rapper was not an instant success on the music scene. Yes, the single that came after this one “Just Don’t Give a F***”, 1999’s “My Name Is“, was a multi-platinum hit. 

But this particular track has never been certified, and the best it did chart-wise was peaking at number 4 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs ranking. And this is despite the tune being backed by the ever-present Interscope Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, who have been putting out Eminem’s songs since.

The Outsidaz

Interesting to note is that in the outro of this track, Eminem gives a shoutout to the Outsidaz, a crew of rappers from New Jersey who are best known via their affiliation with the Fugees during the 1990s. As reported, they also had a strong connection to D-12 and were cool with Eminem until some beef arose concerning an Outsidaz’ feature that was intended for “The Slim Shady LP”. And now looking back, if that had actually happened, perhaps the Outsidaz would have been able to remain on the scene longer instead of promptly descending into obscurity.

The Creation of “Just Don’t Give a F***”

“Just Don’t Give a F***” was written and co-produced by Eminem, with its other producer being a crew known as Bass Brothers, who were heavily involved with the rapper during the earlier part of his career.

According to Em, he wrote this song while he was broke and living with his mother. This was shortly after his daughter Hailie Jade was born. According to him, Hailie was barely a year old around that time. His severe financial struggles along with his inability to provide for Hailie inspired the song’s lyrics. Em has revealed that he got so stressed and depressed about his financial challenges that he began to abuse intoxicants. It was at this point that he began to be “sick of everything”.

Eminem's "Just Don't Give"

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