I have to say that Eminem’s Infinite is my favourite mixtape ever, because that’s how I discovered Eminem and he has been a key part of my whole career, as far as his flow, delivery, and the way he would structure certain syllables so that they bounce off each other. He’s been very inspirational to the way I flow.
The mixtape is so significant because it taught me about melody as well because, growing up, I thought as a rapper you just had to rap. I listened to Tupac and Biggie when I was younger and I didn’t hear a lot of melody in their flow and Eminem was probably one of the first I heard who had a melody.
Even though he wasn’t singing, it really sounded like he was and I liked how he would put a different spin on every song. That made me want to be really melodic in my songs and, to be honest, I don’t know where I would be without Eminem! I heard one song on a random computer game and I was very curious, and I didn’t even know that he was white. I remember going to the library and searching him and the first thing that came up was Infinite.
From then, I was locked in and listened to everything he put out, it was mad! But that was the first CD I owned where I thought ‘this guy is killing it!’ The way he told stories and got his point across very directly was amazing to me.
I think I was 12 at the time and it never bothered me that he was white; I was just thinking, ‘wow, you go boy!’ I didn’t know any other white rapper that was spitting fire like that. When I did find out I did think ‘rah, he’s white’ but after that I kind of forgot anyway. He just held his own, and it’s got nothing to do with colour, he really knew how to flow and rap, man.
When I heard Infinite for the first time I was in my mum’s house, in the living room, right in front of our old stereo, that would cut out if the base was too high. I used that and I was always around it, to rap or play CDs or whatever.
Before I discovered it, at the age of 12, I was rapping but not being serious about it. I would rap voicemails for my mum on her phone or we would have family nights where we would do certain things and I would rap. But after 12, hearing Eminem for the first time, it made me realise that I wanted to be a rapper. He changed my whole mind frame from before, when I thought rapping was just for fun.
But then I saw a music video of his and I wanted to be him; the way he’s running down the road in a Superman outfit, I want to be that! Infinite definitely came at the right time. I actually got Infinite from the shop – it should be at my mum’s house. Hopefully she hasn’t thrown it away!
I can barely remember what the cover looks like, but I know it’s very old school and he’s not even on the cover. It’s literally been years since I last saw it!
But you could tell he studied the greats of the game as well and it was nice to see that he built on what people like Tupac and Biggie had built. When people say I inspire them and then I listen to their music it makes me so happy that I can influence the next generation much like Eminem did.
I think Eminem had some really good producers on the tape. Nowadays I think a lot of music all sounds the same and I can’t really feel music like that. But I could feel Infinite – it really touched me and I like hearing emotional music. He was so ahead of his time back then; he was using beats that were way ahead of their time, he was flowing way ahead of his time, everything was way ahead of its time!
If I knew what was on Infinite already then I would pay over £50 but I would still pay that anyway because it is a mad piece of work.
If I had only three words for Infinite, I would say inspiring, powerful and connected. I say connected because, listening to it, I felt I was on his journey with him and I connected with all the songs.
Nowadays people want to balance emotional songs with bangers on their album but Infinite was a story. And that’s how I feel about new rappers; you should be telling your story rather than trying to make a banger. Have a solid piece of work that represents you and that people can connect with.
Every rapper should listen to Infinite, one million per cent.
Words by Lady Leshurr.