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Tear Jerker / Eminem

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Despite the fact he is known for the lighthearted, comedic songs, most of Eminem's tracks reflect on the uglier parts of his personal life. And indeed, below you find moments in his music that can make you cry.


  • '"Like Toy Soldiers", a call for peace in the violent feuding among rappers, which has resulted in many good rappers (Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and others) losing their lives and having their voices silenced forever. It doesn't help that it samples an already-devastating song that's also about losing friends and peers to something the narrator could've helped prevent ("Toy Soldiers" by Martika, which is about friends of hers who died from heroin addiction).
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  • "Mockingbird", a song dedicated to Em's daughter Hailie and the problems that she faces with her father and mother having marital problems and the way her father's life as a rapper has affected her.
    It's funny, I remember back one year when Daddy had no money
    Mommy wrapped the Christmas presents up and stuck 'em under the tree
    And said some of 'em were from me, cause Daddy couldn't buy 'em
    I'll never forget that Christmas, I sat up that whole night crying.
  • "Beautiful," more than anything else on Relapse, is clearly a product of the years Em spent in isolation following Encore. It's a pretty devastating summary of his mindset at the time.
  • "Hailie's Song", or for that matter, any song that Em dedicates to his little girl is both this and heartwarming. It's clear just how much he loves her.
  • "Going Through Change", about Eminem's fight with his drug addiction, and how it affects his family.
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  • "Space Bound" is the story of a man with a habit of pushing people away until the day he finds love. He's cautiously optimistic, but it turns into a Destructive Romance that implodes after a year and a half. He begs the woman not to leave him after all they've been through together, but when it's clear she won't change her mind, he tries to strangle her to death. Before the woman chokes out her last, the man stops himself, horrified at his actions, and then commits suicide right in front of the woman he loved. The song ends with these words:
    And I would've done anything for you
    To show you how much I adored you
    But it's over now
    It's too late to save our love
    Just promise me you'll think of me
    Every time you look up in the sky and see a star, 'cause
    I'm a space-bound rocket ship and your heart's the moon
    And I'm aiming right at you, right at you
    250 thousand miles on a clear night in June
    And I'm so lost without you, without you
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  • "You're Never Over", Em's tribute to one of his best friends, the late D12 member Proof, who was gunned down in Detroit in 2006.
  • "Difficult", another song dedicated to Proof, focusing on life without him.
  • "I Need a Doctor", Em's tribute to Dr. Dre and his effect on his life and career. Especially at the end of the music video where Dr. Dre visits Eazy-E's grave.
    • "You risked your career for me, I know it as well as you—nobody wanted to fuck with the white boy Dre, I'm crying in this booth!"
    • "But I'm not giving up faith, and you ain't giving up on me! Get up, Dre! I'm dying, I need you! COME BACK, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!" Such raw passion.
  • "Stan", about a Loony Fan who goes over the edge because of his obsession with Slim, and Slim finally writing back, telling him about an episode he saw on the news that made him sick, about someone who tied up his pregnant girlfriend and went off a bridge — and realizing that it was actually Stan. The song is inspired by the death of Eminem's uncle Ronnie, who took his own life in 1991.
  • "Love the Way You Lie", the heart-wrenching story of two people falling in love and the man's downward spiral as an abuser. The chorus really hits home if someone has been through that.
    Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
    But that's all right because I like the way it hurts
    Just gonna stand there and here me cry
    But that's all right because I love the way you lie
  • "When I'm Gone," a candid discussion of the Adult Fear of catastrophically failing to balance career and home life, with a chorus fit for a funeral.
  • His verse on B.o.B's "Airplanes (Part II)", which (along with the overall song) is about how his life could have gone if he didn't make it in the rap industry. It's not a pretty picture.
  • Honestly, as disturbing as it is overall, even "Kim" has tearjerker elements. Eminem sounds genuinely pained throughout the track, and it's clear that his rage has to do more with feeling betrayed and unloved, rather than just simple anger. The chorus illustrates how he still genuinely loves her, even as he depicts her death:
    So long, bitch, you did me so wrong
    I don't wanna go on
    Living in this world without you
    • Even worse is this excerpt, where he sounds near tears by the end of it. They depict the complicated feelings he must have had very accurately:
      I hate you! I hate you! I swear to God, I hate you!
      Oh my God, I love you! How the fuck could you do this to me?
      How the fuck could you do this to me?!
  • "Headlights" is perhaps the greatest tearjerker of all of Em's songs. It is also a Heartwarming Moment, for reasons described on that page. Nate Ruess' verses definitely don't help:
    I want a new life
    One without a cause
    So I'm coming home tonight
    Well, no matter what the cost
    And if the plane goes down
    Or if the crew can't wake me up
    Well, just know that I'm alright
    I was not afraid to die
  • "My Fault" was also pretty stirring, and it comes to a peak with its ending.
  • "Legacy", in which Eminem discusses his traumatic childhood, and wonders why he is so 'differently wired'.
  • "Cleanin' Out My Closet", in which Eminem basically provides a no-holds-barred look at his Dark and Troubled Past, from his rocky parental connections to his turbulent marriage with Kim. You can't listen to it without feeling bad for Em at times, especially with the final lines:
    "Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me? Well guess what, I am dead, dead to you as can be!"
    • The music video makes it even more jarring, showing Em's parents fighting and Em being abused by his mother. This is also mixed with footage of Em in a rainstorm burying...something, and by the end of the video he breaks down in tears and hangs his head.
  • "Guts Over Fear" lampshades the fact that he is coming close to retiring, but doesn't want to since he feels rapping is the only thing he's good at. In the song he feels torn two ways, which can get to you.
  • "Rock Bottom" is just an all-around depressing listen, considering Em wrote it at the lowest, poorest point of his life, and essentially made it to show how crummy his life was from his poverty (made worse by the fact that he had to raise Hailie alongside all this). Hell, even the beat is sad.
  • "Stronger Than I Was" is to Kim what "Headlights" was to his mother. Eminem apologizes for what he put out against her and admits that she made him a better person.
  • "Walk on Water", the lead single of Revival, is an incredibly stripped-down and intimate song compared to others. With only a piano and a vocal accompaniment from Beyoncé, the song is essentially Em airing out his deepest insecurities and imperfections, carrying an incredibly disheartening self-awareness in knowing that his time away has allowed to him to fall out of public favor, not to mention that it built up incredibly high expectations of his next efforts, and he's not entirely faithful in his own capabilities to meet them.
  • "Castle", the penultimate track to Revival, starts as another track dedicated to Hailie, this one framing how Eminem raised her in conjunction with his brewing career. However, the third verse — speaking as an Eminem from Christmas Eve, 2007 who's long been famous — takes a turn for the horribly tragic as he contemplates how unfairly exploitative it was to drag her and Kim into his spotlight, deeply regretting the fame but finding no way out. Then the track closes with the sound of him ingesting pills... followed by a sudden thud.
  • "Stepping Stones", from Kamikaze. Eminem reminisces about his time with D12, apologizes to them for using them as stepping stones, and formally announces that D12 has disbanded.
    "The less is left for closure, so let's let this go.
    It's not goodbye to our friendship, but D12 is over."
  • "Darkness" starts off sounding like a more depressing version of "Beautiful" and it sounds like Eminem is rapping about drowning his sorrows with booze and pills before he goes on to perform a show. Then you slowly realize the song isn't about Eminem at all, but about the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.Told from the perspective of the shooter. The song fades out over a montage of news broadcasts regarding the recent mass shootings in the United States.
    • The last verse has Eminem addressing how there's no known motive behind the shooting and how it ultimately doesn't matter.
    "But if you'd like to know the reason why I did this
    You'll never find a motive, truth is I have no idea
    I am just as stumped, no signs of mental illness
    Just tryin' to show ya the reason why we're so fucked
    'Cause by the time it's over, won't make the slightest difference."
  • The end of the “Godzilla” video.

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