Meaning of “Rap God” by Eminem
The hit single “Rap God” was released by American rapper Eminem and helped thrust him back into musical prominence in 2013. The lyrics are renowned for their fast delivery and hearkening back to the type of controversial content that made Em someone you couldn’t ignore back in the heyday of his career. The song’s lyrics basically focus on Eminem bragging about his proficiency and accomplishments as a rapper.
“I’m beginnin’ to feel like a Rap God, Rap God
All my people from the front to the back nod, back nod”
People Eminem Mentions in “Rap God”
In the lyrics of the song, Eminem name dropped over a dozen notable personalities. Some of these famous names include:
- Bill Clinton
- Monica Lewinsky
- Eazy E
- Floyd Mayweather
- Heavy D and the Boys
- Ray J
In all, Eminem was apparently using the lyrics of “Rap God” to send a clear a message to his fellow rappers that he’s still on top of his game. Several years might have passed by but he’s still the best rapper alive. Simply put, he’s the God of rap.
Facts about “Rap God”
- This track holds the Guinness World Record for “most words in a hit single”. How many words are we talking about here? The song contains approximately 1,560 words! So simply put, “Rap God” has more words in it than any other hit single in the entire history of recorded music.
- This single, which debuted on 14 October 2013, is part of Eminem’s eighth album, The Marshal Mathers LP 2. That album was released on 5 November of that same year.
- “Rap God” was written by Eminem and produced by record producer DVLP. DVLP’s popularity in the hip hop world grew like wildfire soon after he produced this hit single.
- Record producer Matthew “Filthy” Delgiorno also contributed additional production to “Rap God”.
- The song was ranked 14th among the 50 best songs of 2013 by Complex magazine.
- This track actually premiered on YouTube and debuted at number one of Billboard’s Rap Songs chart.
- As of 2018, the single had sold over three million copies across the globe.
- Eminem was accused of illegally using a sample from the track “Lookin’ Boy” by Chicago-based rap group Hotstylz on “Rap God” and got into a beef with them as a result.
- The official music video for “Rap God” was directed by American music video director Rich Lee. In the video Eminem parodies Max Headroom, a 1980’s computer-based celebrity.
- Eminem’s insane rapping speed is arguably the biggest highlight of this song. For example, at some point in the song’s third verse, he raps precisely 101 words in just 16.45 seconds. When you do the mathematics, Eminem actually rapped 6.14 words within a second. In the song, Eminem refers to that insane speed as “supersonic speed”.
- “Rap God” has a total runtime of 6 minutes and 4 seconds. This means Em uses only 6 mins 4 secs to rap a total of 1,560 words. Absolutely impressive!
- On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Rap God” peaked at number 7. It did better on UK Singles Chart where it climbed to number 5.
- In 2018, American rapper Machin Gun Kelly released a diss song against Eminem titled “Rap Devil“. The title of that song is a play on Em’s “Rap God”.
Controversy surrounding “Rap God”
“Rap God” was as popular as it was controversial. Shortly after it was released, the hip hop group Hotstylz accused Eminem of sampling their 2008 song “Lookin’ Boy” in the song without their permission. According to them, to add insult to injury, Eminem didn’t credit them for the sample nor compensate them. Hotstylz responded by releasing an Eminem diss track in November 2013. The group later reportedly decided to take legal action against Eminem and his record label for using their song without seeking their permission. According to TMZ, they were suing for a whopping $8 million.
“Rap Fraud” is the title of Hotstylz’s diss track against Eminem, just in case you’re wondering.
But does “Rap God” really sound similar to “Lookin’ Boy”?
To be honest, certain parts of “Rap God” actually do sound like certain parts of “Lookin Boy”. Eminem even references the song “Lookin Boy” multiple times in the second verse of “Rap God”. This clearly tells us that Em knew of the song before composing “Rap God”.
Listen to Hotstylz’s “Lookin Boy” below and be the judge.
NOTE: The part where Eminem allegedly stole starts from somewhere around 2:16.
Usage of “gay” in the song
The word “gay” used multiple times in the song also birthed some sort of controversy. Em mentioned the word approximately 5 times in the song. This led to many accusing him of homophobia.
Has “Rap God” won a Grammy?
No. However, it was nominated for one at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015 in the category of Best Rap Performance. It lost to the song “i” by rapper Kendrick Lamar.