We’re less than two weeks away from [lastfm]Eminem[/lastfm] returning to southern California for his first concert in five years! You know that AMP’s got your tickets to get in at the Auto Club Speedway, but while you’re admiring him, who was Em admiring growing up? Who are the artists that he looked up to on the way to becoming an international superstar and one of the biggest names in hip-hop today? We’ve got the rundown:
[lastfm]Rakim[/lastfm] – A nearly-unanimous choice as one of the top five emcees in hip-hop history, [lastfm]Rakim[/lastfm]’s up-front style and complex rhyme schemes laid the groundwork for everyone after him. [lastfm]Eminem[/lastfm] seems to have adopted [lastfm]Rakim[/lastfm]’s in-your-face lyricism:
[lastfm]3rd Bass[/lastfm] – It might seem like an antiquated notion today, but it was once thought that a white rapper – not rock/rap pioneers like the [lastfm]Beastie Boys[/lastfm], but just white guys with a beat and a mic – would never be able to both gain respect and sell records. [lastfm]MC Serch[/lastfm] and [lastfm]3rd Bass[/lastfm] gave that notion the Gas Face:
[lastfm]Big Daddy Kane[/lastfm] – In the late 80s, most emcees were either serious or funny. The latter were so clownish, though, that no one took them seriously. [lastfm]Big Daddy Kane[/lastfm] was able to combine a witty sense of humor with hard lyrics in a way few had before:
[lastfm]Dr. Dre[/lastfm] – Em and Dre might be pretty far apart lyrically, but they have to be mentioned together – not just because [lastfm]Dr. Dre[/lastfm] has produced so many of [lastfm]Eminem[/lastfm]’s hits, but also because [lastfm]Eminem[/lastfm]’s approach to the music industry (forming his own label, introducing new artists) has been formed in part by Dre’s adventures in going from rapper to businessman.