Before it was released, Eminem's Recovery was touted as a great comeback vehicle after the so-so showing that was Relapse (which was supposed to be his other comeback vehicle). It appears as though everybody was right, as Recovery has been greeted by enthusiastic buyers (it has already sold over a million copies) and already has a chart-topping single ("Not Afraid"). In fact, it could be scoring its second #1 single very soon, as "Love the Way You Lie" — Slim Shady's collaboration with Rihanna — has rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 and is looking to dislodge Katy Perry's "California Gurls" from its perch.
"Love the Way You Lie" is something of a departure for Eminem, as he doesn't typically follow the hip-hop trope of spitting some verses and then letting the female singer handle the hook in the chorus. But it's a brutally honest, heart-on-his-sleeve series of verses, and Rihanna's appearance is a sweet respite from the swirling angst surrounding her. It's quite possible that "Love the Way You Lie" is the best female collaboration in Eminem's career. How does it stack up to his other mixed tag-team partners?
Of course, it's possible that Eminem's team-up with Rihanna isn't even the best collaboration with a woman on that album. "Won't Back Down" puts Pink's tough girl aesthetic to excellent use, matching her up with a cranking guitar-infused beat full of p*** and vinegar. "Won't Back Down" is so badass that former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell used it as his entrance music during his fight with Rich Franklin a few weeks back.
Eminem's signature team-up track (on the classic "Stan," from 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP) also uses his guest's vibe correctly, as Dido croons the song's haunting hook with an ethereal chill. Though Dido was not famous when "Stan" came out, she certainly elevated her profile after the track became a hit. (Her 1999 album No Angel — which contained "Thank You," the track from which the sample from "Stan" came — ended up going platinum four times.)
Though not a star in her own right, Eminem has tapped singer Dina Rae for more collaborations than any other female artist. Rae has provided backing vocals and hook work on "C** On Everybody" (from The Slim Shady LP), "Drug Ballad" (from The Marshall Mathers LP) and "Superman" (from The Eminem Show).
The other female voice heard pretty often on Eminem's albums? Daughter Hailie Jade, who actually got a "featuring" credit on The Eminem Show's "My Dad's Gone Crazy" (she half-sings the song's hook).
So who is the best female Eminem collaborator? Vote in the poll below and leave your arguments in the comments!
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