The 10 Best Eminem Music Videos

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The 10 Best Eminem Music Videos

Eminem accepting MTV Video Music Award
Eminem's music videos have won him awards, as seen here at the MTV Video Music Awards. Frank Micelotta Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hip-hop music videos are largely hit-or-miss. Some rappers fall back on bland clichés like video vixens, bling, and fancy cars, while others are able to creatively translate their songs into videos. Eminem falls in the latter category. Throughout his career, Slim Shady and his team of directors have always whipped up some eye-catching visuals to accompany those huge singles. We salute one of ​hip-hop's greatest minds with a look at Eminem's 10 best music videos.

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"My Name Is"

Album: The Slim Shady LP
Director: Philip Atwell

Marshall Mathers introduced his twisted sense of humor to the world with the single "My Name Is." Eminem's at once silly and dark persona was fully fleshed out in the song's video. "My Name Is" features Shady parodying everyone from Marilyn Manson to then-president Bill Clinton. He even takes time out to chase a teacher around his desk with a stapler, attempting to staple his, er, sensitive areas. With "My Name Is" as his launch pad, Eminem would proceed to crack up the world for the next several years.

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03
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"Purple Hills"

Album: Devil's Night, D12
Director: Joseph Khan

D12’s "Purple Pills" video looks like an acid trip. Although officially released as "Purple Hills," there is no mistaking what this video is about. Between joy-riding along brightly colored hills, wild hallucinations and Proof dressed up as a party clown, "Purple Pills" is delightfully ridiculous. The harmonica-jamming by a country folk at the end was the blue-and-yellow cherry on top.

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"Without Me"

Album: The Eminem Show
Director: Joseph Khan

The video for "Without Me" showcases parodies of pop culture the same way past Eminem videos did, but Em added a twist to keep the concept fresh. Dr. Dre and Eminem dress up as Batman and Robin and attempt to save a kid from listening to The Eminem Show. Aside from the plot’s tongue-in-cheek notion, Eminem offers humor by poking fun at The Real World, pro wrestling and Osama Bin Laden (among others). The dancing jig by Eminem as Bin Laden proved he was still willing to cross any line he wanted. The video itself was proof he hadn’t lost his twisted sense of humor.

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"Guilty Conscience"

Album: The Slim Shady LP
Directors: Philip Atwell and Dr. Dre

Eminem’s take on the struggle between good and evil is cinematically fleshed out into three disturbing scenarios: a potential armed robbery, statutory rape, and an irate husband who walks in on his cheating wife. With each scene, a rotating freeze-frame accentuates the tension between the angel (Dr. Dre) and devil (Eminem) of each conflicted character’s conscience. The final scene’s depiction of Eminem mocking Dr. Dre’s NWA days is funny, but the closing gunshots ring Eminem’s message loud and clear: in this world, there is more evil than good.

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06
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"I Need a Doctor"

Album: Detox (LOL)
Director: Allen Hughes

The reason this video is not ranked higher is that some of its best moments—the NWA and 2Pac flashbacks, Dr. Dre’s recovery, Dre kneeling at Eazy E’s grave—don’t have anything to with Eminem. Still, Marshall makes his presence felt in this video. He angrily pleads with an unconscious Dre to make his comeback (a.k.a. to release Detox). Eminem’s desperation is not only heard but also seen by the look in his eyes. The clips of Eminem with Dre in their younger days are priceless. "I Need a Doctor" highlights the unusual bond between Eminem and his mentor.

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"Like Toy Soldiers"

Album: Encore
Director: The Saline Project

The video for "Like Toy Soldiers" brings a lot to the table. It is insightful, with Eminem dissecting the deadly nature of rap beefs. It’s emotional, showing grown men crying at their fallen friend’s funeral. More than anything, it’s compelling. Eminem tosses out any comedic notion of rap feuds, opting for a darker approach. The fact that Proof, who dies in a hospital emergency room, was killed just two years later makes "Like Toy Soldiers" all the more haunting.

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"3 a.m."

Album: Relapse
Director: Syndrome

One of the few solid cuts from Relapse also offers one of Eminem’s best videos ever. For the first time, Eminem’s ultraviolent lyrics are accompanied by a full-on horror short. Eminem brings classic elements of horror into the video. He runs scared in the woods in the middle of the night, terrorizes a hospital, dismembers body parts and submerges himself nose-deep in bloody bath water. Horror directors, take note: this is how you achieve freak-outs.

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09
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"Mosh"

Album: Encore
Director: Ian Inaba

Eminem’s video for "Mosh" is a well-executed live animation short. This political thumper features strong criticism of George W. Bush and the Iraq War. Although Eminem had parodied political figures in past videos, there is nothing comedic here. Eminem’s rage is raw and authentic. The video ends with Eminem and a group of angry protestors storming the White House, while Bush looks shocked and nervous. An excellent climax, indeed.

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"Lose Yourself"

Album: 8 Mile OST
Directors: Philip Atwell, Eminem, and Paul Rosenberg

This 8 Mile anthem condensed the intensity and impact of Eminem’s semi-biopic into five and a half minutes of brilliance. The video for "Lose Yourself" then married the song and the movie. Clips from the film, images of Eminem rapping and scenes depicting Eminem’s superstar lifestyle appropriately visualize the song’s narrative. As the music’s tension grows, so does the video, culminating in Eminem stage-diving into a sea of fans and crowd surfing. He literally loses himself in the music.

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"Stan"

Album: The Marshall Mathers LP
Directors: Philip Atwell and Dr. Dre

"Stan" is arguably Eminem"s greatest song. It’s definitely his greatest video. As creepy as the song is, the video for "Stan" takes Eminem's tale of an obsessed fan to extreme lengths of insanity. The sight of Stan’s basement as a shrine to Eminem brings fatal obsession to a three-dimensional level. Actor Devon Sawa maximizes Stan's volatile temperament with his mannerisms and facial expressions. Even Dido, whose song "Thank You" is sampled in the chorus, appears as Stan's girlfriend. Eminem's look of defeat at the end of the video is the perfect ending to the tragic tale.

Watch "Stan" (Long Version)
Watch "Stan" (Short Version)

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McKrell, Aaron. "The 10 Best Eminem Music Videos." ThoughtCo, Sep. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-eminem-music-videos-2858011. McKrell, Aaron. (2017, September 10). The 10 Best Eminem Music Videos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-eminem-music-videos-2858011 McKrell, Aaron. "The 10 Best Eminem Music Videos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-eminem-music-videos-2858011 (accessed November 19, 2017).