Every once in a while, a collaboration sounds like a good idea to a rapper. It may help broadened exposure, steal some fans, or simply create a memorable record. More often than not, that’s exactly what happens. But every once in a while, the idea backfires and the rapper will get murdered on their own shit. This was infamously the case with Eminem on “Renegade,” Nas on “Live At the BBQ,” AZ on “Life’s a Bitch” and numerous other times. Other times, an artist will simply be looking to fill the verses on a song. Back in 2000, a two-verse rap record was simply blasphemous. You needed three or four and, in Eminem’s case, you were more than likely the soak up four verses every time. However, you need help every once in a while. On his seminal Marshall Mathers LP, Em was posse-cut happy, giving us three (“Remember Me?,” “Bitch Please II” and “Under the Influence”). As was the case for Shady in his prime, he bested pretty much everyone. Except when it came to track 9.
Onyx’s Sticky Fingaz came in on the second verse of “Remember Me?” and delivered a show-stealing 16 that even managed to out-misogyny and out-shock value Em himself. Kicking things off with, “Niggas that take no for an answer get told no/ Yeah, I’ve been told no, but it was more like, No! No! No!” the listener immediately knew they were in for something special. Fingaz’s wild, aggressive flow made for a much-needed change up from Eminem’s in-pocket structure.
Fingaz went on to go slant rhyme heavy for the next few bars: “This vet is ahead of the shit is all redder, you deader and deader/ A medic instead of the cheddars and credda/ Settle vendetta with metal beretta from ghetto to ghetto/ Evidence? nope, never leave a shred-of.”
Proving to be just as self-aware of his content as Marshall was, Sticky renames himself, “Can’t-Believe-That-Nigga-Said-That-Shit.” The verse gets grimier, with the most unappealing kitchen sex scene since Walt and Skyler.
Where most top-heavy verses tend to fade off in the final couplet, Sticky — pardon the pun — sticks the landing with, “I’m getting wires, niggas wanting me dead, wanting my head/ You think it could be something I said?” The line itself is dope enough, but the echo of the final bar leaves fans just enough breathing room to regain their composure and prepare themselves for the next nine tracks of gay slurs, drugs and spousal murder the second half of MMLP had to offer.
Eminem has had more than his fair share of highlight reel verses, and he has certainly never been one to hold his pen back (“Fuck no, go for broke”), but even the best can’t bat 1.000. Every dog has his day and on “Remember Me?” it was Sticky Fingaz’s time to shine. Take a few minutes and travel back to 2000 for one of the most memorable guest verses ever.