Many hip hop enthusiasts would argue for Eminem to be the best rapper in the game today, and maybe of all time. Much of Eminem's success can, of course, be attributed to his lyrical skill and the successful songs and albums he has had ever since the late 90s, but his success can also be attributed to how Eminem has held his own in several of his beefs. Not just in the music industry, but also outside of the entertainment industry.
There is something about the lyrical venom that Em sprays on a regular basis that just attracts him into so many rivalries. Em has practically had just as many feuds as he has hit records and awards. We are going to talk about some of the feuds in this list, but we are also going to talk about the times that Em went too far in these beefs and, in some instances, had to apologize.
20 Fighting with Sacha Baron Cohen at MTV Awards
At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, under his Bruno character, Sacha Baron Cohen came flying over the audience on a harness, only to fall crotch first on Eminem's face. It looked like the situation turned violent when Em's crew started wailing fists on Cohen and pushed the comedian away before Em stormed out angrily. But Em went on to reveal to Rap Radar that the whole thing was rehearsed beforehand and after he stormed out, he "laughed uncontrollably for about three hours."
19 Lying About Insane Clown Posse Partying with Him
Insane Clown Posse explained to VladTV this year how their beef with Eminem started in 1995, very early into Em's career before he even dropped his first studio LP album, a flyer falsely advertising ICP appearing at Em's debut EP release party as "special invited guests" was going around. ICP took umbrage with it and dissed Em, who retaliated with disses of his own like "Get U Mad."
18 Ending Cage's Career Before It Started
No one knows who Cage is these days, and that is exactly what started his beef with Em. Prior to The Slim Shady LP release, Cage went around telling sources like The Washington Post that Eminem was "biting" his style. So Eminem ended Cage's career for good by spitting venom his way on tracks like "Role Model" and "Drastic Measures."
17 The BET Cypher That Got Him A Secret Service Visit
After taking a hiatus for some years following the success of Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem revived his career with a Cypher at the BET Awards in 2017 where he made some disparaging remarks against the President of the United States. His comments made during the Cypher was enough to get him a Secret Service visit. Em claimed this in the opening track of his Kamikaze album, and then Buzzfeed news reporter Jason Leopold confirmed this with document proof.
16 Hitting His Ex's Boyfriend
This is the only entry on the list not focusing on a rival in the entertainment industry, but it is a pretty big offense regardless. Following a confrontation with his John Guerra - who at the time dated Em's ex, Kim - at the Hot Rock night club, Em pled guilty to and put on two-year probation for carrying a concealed weapon.
The reason being that Guerra alleged that Eminem pistol-whipped him during the confrontation, though Em went on to point-blank say Guerra was "full of [it]" on the song "Sing for the Moment" because "that was a fist that hit you."
15 Leading Ja Rule's Career Decline
Because Eminem is best pals with his sworn enemy 50 Cent, Ja Rule feuded with Em just by association. After Ja insulted both Kim and Hailie on "Loose Change," Em wrote and released a series of diss records like "Hailie's Revenge," "Hail Mary," and "Bully." These slanderous songs were one of the many reasons why Ja's career fell off.
14 Threatening to Have Moby Jumped
At the 2001 Grammys, Moby criticized Eminem's lyrics for being homophobic. Em's retort was to diss Moby on "Without Me," where he told the bandleader to "blow [him]," called him old, and threatened to have his protege Obie Trice jump him. He even challenged Moby to a fight at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. They never fought, but they never squashed the beef either.
13 Not Playing "Mr. Nice Guy" with Will Smith
In his acceptance speech for winning the 1999 MTV VMA for Best Male Video (something Em was also nominated for), Will Smith noted that his success proved that rappers didn't have to curse or threaten producers to sell songs. Em took offense, dissing Smith and anyone who agreed with him on "Without Me." Smith responded on the song "Mr. Nice Guy" by saying: “Dissed by Eminem but didn't bother him/ Yup well he classy/ Big Will just did another 20 mill', walk right past E/ I'm a nice guy, why y'all harassin me, huh?”
12 Trashing the Trash Talk from Joe Budden
Back when he still hosted Everyday Struggle, retired rapper and Em's old label mate Joe Budden heavily criticized Em's Revival album, especially his "Walk on Water" single for the album. Eminem directly dissed Joe Budden in the "Chloraseptic" remix, then on his follow-up album, Kamikaze. Budden retaliated on his podcast just by saying he "been better" at rapping than Em has ever been, and left it at that.
11 When He Sonned Canibus
At the height of his feud with LL Cool J, Canibus accused Eminem of ghostwriting a diss track L dropped against Canibus called "The Ripper Strikes Back" during a Tim Westwood interview in 1998. Eminem denied this claim, and at the following Warped Tour festival, Canibus apologized and offered to collab on a song with Em. Em didn't like the song offered to him and turned it down.
The feud continued with diss after diss and Eminem called Canibus "little Marshall Mathers' sister" on one song. Canibus was - as the streets say - "sonned" and his career never recovered.
10 Airing Out Christina Aguilera's Dirty Laundry
In 1999, on MTV, Christina Aguilera - right after shouting out his "My Name Is" video, Aguilera mentioned that Eminem was still married to Kim, something that Em wanted kept a secret. So, after airing out his dirty laundry on television, he aired out hers on "The Real Slim Shady," where he dissed her and alleged that she fooled around with Fred Durst.
9 Threats Towards Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit
Speaking of the Limp Bizkit frontman, he and Eminem were actually good friends at one point. Things took a drastic turn when Fred Durst's DJ went on MTV TRL to say that Everlast would beat Eminem in a fistfight. Because Durst never defended Em, Em took offense and dissed all of Limp Bizkit on "Girls," where he made several violent threats
8 Comparing MGK to R. Kelly
In a 2015 HOT 97 interview and in some tweets beforehand, Machine Gun Kelly made some remarks about Hailie being attractive, not knowing she was underage at the time. When Eminem finally caught wind of these comments in time for his 2018 album Kamikaze, "Not Alike" had some harsh words for MGK on "Not Alike," where he says "You know who you are, Kelly," a pun where Em compares MGK to R. Kelly.
7 When He Told His Fans to Attack Everlast
After Eminem ignored him backstage at a 1999 concert, Everlast of House of Pain fame decided both Eminem and his daughter, Hailie, on the "Eat Drums Pop" remix. Infuriated at the shots at his family, Em released a flurry of disses against Everlast. Most notably on the song "I Remember," where he made fun of Everlast's heart problems. He then released "Quitter," where he told his fans to beat up Everlast if they ever see him in the street.
6 The Entirety of "Kim," Dedicated to His Ex
One of the most popular, shocking songs of his career was dedicated to his on-again-off-again relationship with his first love and ex-wife. "Kim" paints a scenario where Eminem maniacally murders his high school sweetheart. He had some not so nice things to say about the mother of his child. Probably made Thanksgiving dinners a little awkward.
5 Dissing (then apologizing) to Michael Jackson
On the song and music video for "Just Lose It," Eminem blatantly poked fun of Michael Jackson, specifically at his plastic surgery and the incident where his hair caught on fire during a Pepsi commercial shoot. In an interview with a local Los Angeles radio station, Jackson said he felt like the song was "disrespectful" to not only himself, but his children, and was caught off guard as a fan of Em.
In a 2004 MTV interview with Sway, Em apologized, calling MJ "a legend" and that the song was not meant to be a diss, just a parody towards pop icons.
4 When He "Warned" Mariah Carey
Dating back to nearly two decades now, Eminem has continually made references to Mariah Carey in his songs by 2008, Carey had enough. She dissed him on "Obsessed," in the music video, she's being stalked by an Eminem look alike. This inspired Em to dedicate an entire angry record to Carey called "The Warning."
3 Sent Shots to Her Husband, Nick Cannon, Too
Because obviously, any man is going to have to step in and defend his wife when she gets dissed. Nick Cannon did just that for his then-wife when Eminem sent shots to her. Em also dissed Cannon on "Bagpipes for Baghdad." After Em released "The Warning," Cannon took to Twitter and made a blog post vowing revenge, but Cannon deleted the post and never followed up with a song.
2 Put a "Nail in the Coffin" of Benzino's Career
Eminem has never taken constructive criticism lightly, evident by the fact that his whole beef with Benzino started because the co-founder of The Source reviewed Em's Marshall Mathers LP album at two out of five mics.
So he dissed Benzino on "The Sauce," which inspired Benzino to rap the song "Pull Your Skirt Up," where he claimed to have started Eminem's career early on after featuring a young Em in his magazine's Unsigned Hype section in 1998. This led Em to retaliate with "Nail in the Coffin," exposing Benzino's shady business practices. Benzino's never quite recovered and he and The Source have since parted ways.
1 The Diss To Tyler the Creator He Was Forced to Apologize For
It is rare for Eminem to ever apologize for the things he says in his raps, but in this instance, he felt guilty enough to publicly apologize. One of the rappers who Eminem dissed on Kamikaze was Tyler the Creator and in his lyrics on the song "Fall," Em called him "the F word."
In a reflective YouTube interview with Sway later on, Em went on to say “I think the word that I called him on that song was one of the things where I felt like this might be too far ... in my quest to hurt him, I realize that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it."
Sources: youtube.com, buzzfeednews.com