Album Rating: 4.0
From the perspective of traditional poetic theory, almost the entire song, excluding the chorus, can be described as being written in anapestic tetrameter. However, though this poetic label accurately describes the short-short-long pattern that dominates Eminem's flow in this song, it fails to capture the musical rhythm of his delivery, which in Rap is more significant. Eminem delivers his short-short-long "anapestic" rhythm in a highly syncopated manner which is completely off the beat: he rests on the beat itself, 1,2,3,4, and delivers his words on the other 16th notes (e & a), accenting the last 16th note, the same place where the kick drum hits. This highly syncopated rhythm gives this piece much of its dramatic tension and is identical to the rhythm of the piano accompaniment. The chorus adapts lines from the song "As the Rhyme Goes On" from Eric B. and Rakim's debut album Paid in Full in which Rakim raps, "I'm the R, the A, to the K, I M--if I wasn't, then why would I say I am?" - Rakim would later be signed to Aftermath, but left before releasing an album.