“Till I Collapse” is one of Eminem’s most famous and sought-after tracks, although it was never released as a single. Even 17 years after its release, this song still draws crowds at live concerts.
“Till I Collapse” appears as the 18th track from Eminem’s fourth studio album “The Eminem Show”. The album itself is infamous for its worldwide hits such as “Cleanin ‘Out My Closet”, “Without Me”, “Hailie’s Song”, “Superman”, “Sing for the Moment” and more. Released in May 2002, the song was certified more than 5 times Platinum by the RIAA with sales of more than 5 million units in the United States alone.
The vocal track includes 3 verses from Eminem and the chorus by Nate Dogg. The lyrics were assisted by the two artists with Luis Resto.
Another interesting fact about the song is that it pretty much “steals” the drum beat from the Queen’s epic hymn “We Will Rock You”. Listen intently to the classic “2x drums and applause” rhythm.
In February 2021, “‘Till I Collapse” surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, and was named “Best Practice Song of All Time” by the streaming service. It is also the most released non-single in Spotify history.
Watch the video “Till I Collapse” by Eminem
Download “Till I Collapse” on Apple Music and Amazon
Buy the album “The Eminem Show” on Apple Music and Amazon
“Till I Collapse” is an ultimate song of motivation and dedication to carry on until your last breath. For Marshall Mathers, it’s about spitting out deep rap verses until he can no longer stand in front of a microphone. Until this day, until he collapses, Eminem says he will continue his journey with courage and intelligence.
In the introduction at the song, Eminem joins us all saying that he understands that everyone has their weak moments. It’s not like Eminem was born with superhuman strength. Getting up, dusting yourself off and going on living is a state and a product of the mind.
In the first verse from “Till I Collapse”, Eminem explains what “living” means to him. Eminem has devoted his entire life to rap and hip hop and music in general. You could even say that he put music first, that he might have lost his personal life and his relationships along the way. However, in this song, Em spits out that music is his only real focus and what he wants to be good at for the rest of his life. His musical journey won’t end when he can’t spit out verses at “supersonic” speeds, but rather when he can’t write the perfect bars he is revered for.
In the following lines, Eminem goes on to show that due to his devotion to rap, he was able to attract a million fans around the world. He continues to pat her on the back saying that most of them are big fans like Tupac Shakur. Sometimes even Eminem wonders if he really is a true rap and hip hop prodigy or just a manifestation of nascent hip hop culture in the 2000s.
“Slizzles” is another manipulation of “Slim Shady”, one of Eminem’s many alter-egos.
Eminem performs “Till I Collapse” with Nate Dogg Live in Vegas in 2002
Nate Dogg performs the Chorus of the song, building on the theme of not giving up. The lyrics state that until the artist is physically unable to write, think, and rap, he will continue his journey.
the second verse of the song spits out what it means for Eminem to live his dream. He says it’s magic to make something out of words and the whole fanbase relates to it. It’s a supernatural feeling to have a passionate fan base who will be inspired and change their lives for the better just by listening to you.
In this verse, Eminem also lists the industry GOATs. It is also interesting that he lists them in some sort of order; “Reggie (AKA Redman), Jay-Z, 2Pac, Biggie, Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas, and then me …” However, Em has been the subject of a lot of hate among the names in this listing. He compares his ad to that of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, who had a fairly high-profile married life thanks to drug addiction, physical violence and mental illness.
In the third verse From “Till I Collapse”, Eminem took the song up a notch by gloating over his rap supremacy in the 2000s. Eminem never backed down from a battle. In fact, he ended the lucrative rap careers of artists who had their minds tweaked to go against him. So while Eminem might not win every awards show, he knows he’s one of the best MCs to ever lead the show, and that feeling will keep him motivated until the end.
The most interesting fact about “Till I Collapse” is that the song isn’t all about words and rhymes. Eminem lived his life true to these words. Faced with many challenges and battles and struggles in his life, he never backed down. He overcame memories of his macabre childhood, his broken relationship with his mother, wife and even children, his drug addiction and being hated by a larger population across the world.
Let us know what you think of Eminem and Nate Dogg’s “Till I Collapse”. Can you relate? Leave a comment below.
Check out the full lyrics and breakdown of meaning on Genius.
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