The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (2023)

The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (1)

Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" is fueled by frustration with rifts between hip-hop artists and, in particular, his own rifts with rappers Ja Rule and Benzino, then editor ofThe source🇧🇷 The track appeared on their 2004 album.bis,and samples from the 1988 song Martika,"Toy Soldiers".

"Like Toy Soldiers" features two extended verses in which Eminem raps darkly over a spare drum beat. First, however, we hear the chorus in which the "Toy Soldiers"Searchenter the game:"Step by step, heart to heart, left, right, left / We all fall like tin soldiers."

In the context of the song, toy soldiers represent hip hop artists who fight as if they are controlled by outside forces, such as their friends or the desire to sell records. Eminem suggests that participating in these fights often depresses everyone involved, as he will explore in the verses.

In the first verse, Eminem explains his reasons for writing the song and expresses his frustration with where things had gotten to in his own feuds and the general state of the hip-hop community at the time.

Eminem has never been one to shy away from public confrontation, we hear more"O Real Slim Shady",but this time he went too far:

I should be the soldier who never loses his composure
Even if I carry the weight of the whole world on my shoulders
I should never show this, my team shouldn't know
Even if it means crashing head-on into a Benzino, it doesn't matter.
I would never drag her into battles I can't handle unless absolutely necessary.
I must make an example
I must be the leader, my team expects me to lead them.
If something happens, you must be with them.

First verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (1/3).

Eminem starts by referencing two songs from his previous album, 2002.o show do eminem:"Soldier"y"Hailies mentiu."He then refers to himself as the leader of his team, which was then D12, and laments the fact that he can't show his inner struggles externally and regrets dragging others into his arguments with other rappers, most notably the rapper andThose onesPartner-owner of Benzino.

The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (2)

Benzino and Eminem's feud dates back to 2002 when Benzino released a diss song by Eminem called"I don't want"🇧🇷 After that it got hotterThose onesThey played the very popular Eminem album.Die Marshall Mathers-LPa mic review 2/5 (later up to 4, Em still didn't like it), and Benzino started to screw it up"are"Rappers in the press.

Their bullshit has lasted for many years, although Benzino tried in 2022finish it.

(Video) Eminem “Like Toy Soldiers”, I Don’t Play This Video Anymore But Here’s the Breakdown

What spawned "Like Toy Soldiers," however, was Benzino's threat to Eminem's daughter Hailie on his 2003 diss track."Better Lose You"along with Ja Rule's use of his name later that year. On Benzino's "Better Lose Yourself" raps:"Tell Hailie it ain't safe anymore (nah) / Daddy better watch you at the candy store."

We see this in the next part of the verse:

You see, shit, I tried to crush him, it was too late to stop him.
There's a certain line you just don't cross, and he crossed it.
I heard him say Hailie's name in a song and I lost my mind.
It was crazy, this shit went way beyond any Jay Z and Nas shit
And though the battle was won, I feel like we lost it
I've put so much energy into it that, to be honest, I'm exhausted.
And I'm so wrapped up in this that I almost feel like I caused this.
That's not why I'm in hip-hop, that's not why I got into it.

First verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (2/3).

Ja Rule further encouraged him with the song."small change"later in 2003. "Loose Change", Ja Rule sings:"Um, you say your mom's a crackhead / and Kim's a known slut / So what's Hailie going to be when she grows up?"

Ja Rule started the feud after Eminem signed 50 Centobscure recordsin 2002, and they traded a few punches until Ja went too far with "Loose Change" and Eminem countered with a"Ave Maria"over Tupac's famous beat where he absolutely shreds Ja Rule along with 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes. Look this:

"Loose Change" is considered by many to be the moment Ja Rule kick-started his career, as the backlash from Eminem & Co greatly overwhelms and humiliates him. Ja Rule took a hiatus from music in 2005 and has never been in the spotlight since.

Next, Eminem refers to the famousJay-Z e Nas Beef, which was much more innocent in comparison. He then acknowledges his Ja Rule Beef win, but explains that he's not exactly proud, just exhausted, and that it didn't even feel like a win to him.

(Video) The Heartbreaking Life of Eminem

Eminem's frustration is fueled somewhat by the fear that things will get worse and someone will get killed over his rants or other rants that were going on in hip-hop at the time:

It was never my goal to kill anyone.
Why would I want to destroy something I helped build?
It wasn't my intention, my intention was good.
I went my entire career without mentioning it
And that was just out of respect for not opening her mouth.
And talk about something I didn't know
Also, Dre said to stay out, it's just not my thing.
So I did, just leaned back and watched and gritted my teeth.
While talking on TV about a man who literally saved my life.
Fuck it, I get that's the deal
And that shit is none of my business
But I still know this shit can start anytime

First verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (3/3).

Here he refers to one who was killed as if it happened on account of these disputes, but in fact it was not. D12 memberbugzhe was murdered in 1999, but that had nothing to do with a piece of meat. Some people assume this was a reference to Proof, but that was 2004 andThe death of evidenceIt wasn't until 2006.

The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (3)

Since we're talking beef, and Eminem getting ready to make a Suge Knight reference, it's safe to assume that Eminem was referring to the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, both killed as a result of hip-hop beef. jump. distant

When he sings about going through his"whole career without ever being mentioned" (blank)", Suge would be the word you would have said, as it rhymes with "good" in the line above.

Here's what says Dr. Dre was struggling at the time, and apparently Dre asked Eminem to stay out of it. Eminem fell for this because of his love for Dr. Dre. He did it, hard, but he compromised out of respect.

Eminem closes the verse by acknowledging that fights are often made for the public and that they are just part of the hip-hop business. Still, he feels things could get worse at any moment, and so he lets that lovely refrain continue.

This brings us to the second verse, where Eminem starts reminiscing about hip-hop's better days:

In the past you could only say one rhyme
And I wouldn't have to worry about one of them dying.
But now it's elevated because you put someone's children on it.
Shit escalates, it's not just words anymore, is it?
It's a different game, you name names and you don't just rap

(Video) Eminem - Mockingbird [Official Music Video]

Second verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (1/4)

Once again, Eminem goes back to the fact that these rappers used his daughter's name in their songs and took things to the next level. He says as soon as you bring someone's kids into the business it gets serious and it's not just hip-hop anymore and it's about life. What Eminem is saying here is that the situation he's in is the kind of situation where people die, and he really doesn't want it to come to that.

Below, Eminem shares more details about the fight that ended Ja Rule's career and how it all started:

In fact, we try to avoid 50 and yes beef.
Dre and I sat with him and kicked him and talked to him.
And he asked him not to start, he would not chase him.
Until Ja started babbling in magazines about how we stabbed him.
Fuck 50 Smash It! Put it down and let her have it
My attention was now drawn in another direction.
A receptionist at The Source, on the phone at her desk.
I have the hots for me and he thinks I'll be his resurrection.
He tries to dust off the mic and record a new record.
But now it spoiled the game because one of the ways I came up with
Through this release, it was the same thing that made me famous.
Now the owner holds a grudge against me for nothing
Fuck it, that motherfucker can get it too, so fuck it

Second verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (2/4).

Yes rule and 50 cents had onebeef for a long timedating back to 1999 and intensified when 50 Centwas stabbedin 2000, during a fight with some employees of Ja Rules Murder, Inc.. Eminem claims to have sat down with 50 Cent and tried to avoid the beef, but Ja Rule started talking about magazines🇧🇷 Afterwards, Eminem encourages 50 Cent to get involved with Ja Rule, and of course, he gets involved himself.

The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (4)

Eminem then explains how he handles two fights at once and mentions something about a receptionist.The sourcethat started with himMarshall Mathers LP-Rezensão🇧🇷 Eminem says the author doesn't understand that with readersThe sourceloves it and the magazine made it famous so they shoot themselves in the foot by destroying it.

He finally takes it to Benzino, expressing his frustration at having started a fight with him for no reason. This is true, and Benzino's Beef with Eminem was widely seen as a publicity stunt, even though it led to the downfall ofThe source(as it was known at the time) and Benzino's resignation from the magazine.

Then Eminem takes to the streets again and shows some more love to his homies at D12, the "soldiers":

But I'm so busy pissed off I can't stop thinking
That we just inherited the '50s beef with Murder Inc
And he inherited mine, which is fine, we both don't care
We still have soldiers standing at the front.
It's ready to die for us as soon as we give the orders.
Never to blackmail us, but to show that they support us.
We could scream in a rap or a chorus
To show them that we love them and let them know how important it is
Have Runyan Avenue soldiers on our street corners
Your loyalty to us is worth more than any award

Second verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (3/4).

With this piece, Eminem once again draws attention to the fucked up nature of the hip-hop game. He mentions that he and 50 Cent have these soldiers on the street who would do anything for them, including death for just one scream in a song.

(Video) Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers (Official Music Video)

It's a little menacing, but it's also Eminem's way of showing appreciation for the people who have been there for him since the beginning. Give a special shout out to the Runyan Ave Soldiers, a hip hop group made up of members of D12 and friends from Eminem's hometown of Detroit.With Artist and Craftsman.

The Meaning of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" - Extra Chill (5)

Finally, Eminem closes with a peace offering, but certainly not an apology:

But I'm not going to try to make sure none of my people are hurt and killed.
Not worth it, I can't think of a more perfect way to put it.
Than just saying I love you too much to see the verdict
I'll walk away from anything before I let it go any further
But don't twist it, it's not a plea I copy
I'm ready to be the biggest man
If you can stop jumping in the pines, well I can
Because honestly, I'm tired of talking
I will not let someone else's coffin rest on my conscience.

Second verse of Eminem's "Like Toy Soldiers" (4/4).

In his final text, Eminem strives to end all of his fights in one fell swoop because, again, he doesn't want the situation to escalate to the point of killing someone. He sends love to his enemies, even those who despise him, but he makes it clear when he says that he is not the one failing.

Basically, Eminem tells Ja Rule and Benzino to quit and assures them that if they quit, so will he. What he's implying, though, is that if Eminem's family is mentioned again, someone will get killed, and he certainly doesn't want to see that.

Looking back on this song nearly 20 years after its release, none of the people involved in this fight have died as a result. "Like Toy Soldiers" is considered one of the best songs of Eminem's long and storied career, and the rappers definitely are.still shaking.

Check out Eminem's music video for Like Toy Soldiers below.

(Video) Eminem - Without Me (Official Music Video)


What is the meaning of toy soldiers? ›

(tɔɪ ˈsəʊldʒə ) noun. a miniature nonfunctioning replica of a soldier, esp one that children play with.

What is the full meaning of Eminem? ›

Definition. EMINEM. M&M (Marshall Mathers; music artist) EMINEM. Every Mother Is Nice Except Mine.

Is Like Toy Soldiers Based on a true story? ›

Eminem's “Like Toy Soldiers” is fueled by frustration over disputes between hip-hop artists, and specifically his own beefs with rappers Ja Rule and Benzino, then-editor of The Source. The track appeared on his 2004 album Encore, and samples the 1988 Martika song, “Toy Soldiers”.

Who is Eminem rapping about in how come? ›

Content. The song is about the relationship between the members of D12. Eminem makes reference to his relationship to Proof, Kon Artis talks about Eminem and Kim's relationship, and Proof talks about the rift between him and Eminem.

What was toy soldiers written about? ›

In 2003, Eminem released the diss track, hoping, to end all diss tracks, “Like Toy Soldiers.” The song criticizes beefing in the rap community along with the increasingly deadly consequences. The song was first featured on Eminem's fifth album, Encore (2004), and garnered widespread critical approval, peaking at No.

What is the song toy soldier about? ›

Martika wrote the song about a friend who was battling a cocaine addiction. "I was a little hesitant because I had only written two songs before and they were light songs. I came up to Michael and said I wanted to write about drugs.

Is Eminem based on a true story? ›

“Stan” is not based on a true story. Eminem's 2000 smash-hit “Stan” was not based on a real person. However, the song, which tells the story of an obsessed fan who kills himself and his girlfriend after Eminem fails to respond to his letters, was inspired by the rapper's real experiences.

Why did Eminem apologize to his mom? ›

It seems as though he's had a change of heart: his latest video, directed by Spike Lee, shows him apologising for overdoing the mom-hatred. His mother wrote a memoir in which she recalls that he actually had a relatively normal childhood, and that she has been physically assaulted by fans of her son.

What word did Eminem put in the dictionary? ›

Eminem – "stan"

Why does the toy soldier only have one leg? ›

Plot. On his birthday, a boy receives a set of 25 toy soldiers all cast from one old tin spoon and arrays them on a table top. One soldier stands on a single leg because, as he was the last one cast, there was not enough metal to make him whole.

Who saved Eminem's life? ›

US rapper Eminem, who was taking up to "30 Vicodin a day" when he nearly died of a prescription drug overdose in 2007, reached out to longtime friend Sir Elton John for help during his turbulent journey to sobriety.

What are those toy soldiers called? ›

Toy soldiers, tin soldiers, or model soldiers are miniature figures representing soldiers from ancient times to the present day.

Who is the owner of Eminem? ›

Shady Records
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
FounderEminem Paul Rosenberg
Distributor(s)Interscope Geffen A&M (In the US) Polydor (In the UK) Universal (Worldwide)
5 more rows

What song made Eminem famous? ›

While not Eminem's best-selling single, "Lose Yourself" is considered by many to be his signature song. Upon its release, the track was a worldwide chart success, peaking at number one on 24 national charts worldwide. These included the US Billboard Hot 100, making it Eminem's first number-one hit in the United States.

What was the first song that made Eminem famous? ›

Eminem's first song to enter the Billboard Hot 100 was "My Name Is", which was released in 1999 and became the most successful single from The Slim Shady LP.

Is like toy soldiers about proof? ›

In an eerie coincidence, a shooting death of Proof was depicted in Eminem's 2005 music video for “Like Toy Soldiers,” a song that warns against hip-hop wars escalating into real-life violence. The video shows a bloodied Proof lying in a hospital bed while doctors try to revive him. It also depicts the rapper's funeral.

What happened to the soldiers Toy Story? ›

At the end of the movie, the troops finally land in the playground at Sunnyside Daycare, where they are greeted by Barbie and Ken, now leaders of Sunnyside, who invite them to join the party. It is likely that Sarge and the two paratroopers have settled in the daycare under Barbie and Ken's leadership.

What war are toy soldiers based on? ›

Toy Soldiers: Cold War features 1980s-era military technology, and is based around the idea of military aggression escalating between the United States and the USSR.

What is toy soldier warm up? ›

Toy Soldier Stretch

In a walking motion, kick one leg forward and reach with the opposite arm, trying to touch your toe. Focus on keeping your back as straight as you can and keeping well balanced.

What book is toy soldiers based on? ›

Toy Soldiers is an original novel written by Paul Leonard and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor, Bernice, Chris and Roz.

Who was Eminem's friend that shot himself? ›

He was a close childhood friend of rapper Eminem, who also lived in Detroit.
Proof (rapper)
Birth nameDeShaun Dupree Holton
Also known asBig Proof Dirty Harry
BornOctober 2, 1973 Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedApril 11, 2006 (aged 32) Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
7 more rows

Why do they call him Eminem? ›

Rappers tend to stick to short rap monikers if their names aren't short. Such was the case for Eminem, initially. Eminem originally went by his initials, M&M (for Marshall Matthers), but later changed it to Eminem.

Who was Eminem's biggest inspiration? ›

By the time of the 45th Annual GRAMMY® Awards in 2003, Eminem was a worldwide superstar. Showing his love for hip-hop, he took the opportunity to shout out the artists who inspired his career—a move which gave some much deserved shine to talents like Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, and Boogie Down Productions.

What did Eminem's dad do to him? ›

Did Eminem take care of his niece? ›

Eminem also helped raise his niece, Alaina Marie Mathers, 26. He added she is “pretty much like a daughter to me.” Alaina's late mother was the twin sister of Eminem's ex-wife, Kim Scott. Eminem also adopted Whitney Scott Mathers, 17, his ex-wife's daughter from another relationship.

Did Eminem ever meet his father? ›

Eminem has said he never met his father, who took to the press in the early 2000s to reach out to his son. Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr., the estranged father of rapper Eminem, has died, TMZ reports. He was 67.

What words got removed from the dictionary? ›

Words taken OUT of the dictionary
  • Vitamin G: It now goes by its new name — riboflavin.
  • Hodad: Comes from the 1960s and basically means someone pretending to be a surfer dude. ...
  • Frutescent: An adjective meaning “like a shrub.”
  • Sternforemost: A ship moving backward. ...
  • Snollygoster: From the 19th century.
Nov 12, 2020

What is Eminem's Fastest words per second? ›

There's Eminem, who was credited with a Guinness World Record in 2020 for rapping a staggering 7.5 words per second in one verse in Godzilla. His 2013 track Rap God was also awarded a Guinness World Record for packing the most words inside a hit single — 1,560 words inside 6 minutes and 4 seconds.

How many unique words does Eminem use? ›

Marshall Mathers III) has the largest vocabulary, with 8,818 unique words used in the lyrics of his 100 lengthiest tracks. The Top 10 in full: 1. Eminem (8,818 unique words);

What do you call toy soldiers? ›

Toy soldiers, tin soldiers, or model soldiers are miniature figures representing soldiers from ancient times to the present day.

Where did toy soldiers come from? ›

At the end of the 18th century, metalworkers crafted two-dimensional soldiers from cheap tin, which were widely known as 'flats' and sold unpainted. Early in the 19th century, the first mass-produced toy soldiers were produced in Germany by the Heinrichson, Heyde, and Gebrüder Riechewere companies.

What does being someone's toy mean? ›

to not care seriously about someone or about their feelings, especially during a romantic friendship.

What does toy slang mean? ›

"Thinking of You" is the most common definition for TOY on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. TOY. Definition: Thinking of You.

What is a slang word for soldier? ›

redcoat. enlisted man (US) man-at-arms. squaddie or squaddy (British, slang)

What do toy soldiers have to do with Christmas? ›

Toy soldiers became associated with Christmas around the same time that nutcrackers were integrated into the festive holiday. In German folklore, nutcrackers, which were often designed to look like small wooden soldiers, were given as gifts at Christmastime to bring luck and to protect the family home.

What does the toy soldier mean at Christmas? ›

Christmas Nutcracker soldiers are decorative nutcracker statues most commonly made to resemble a toy soldier. It was said that in German tradition, the dolls are symbols of good luck, frightening away malevolent spirits and protecting your home.

Why are toy soldiers green? ›

Army men following the war were sold unpainted, usually in a green color corresponding to United States Army uniforms in World War II. Beginning in the early 1950s, Louis Marx and Company sold boxed sets of figures and accessories called playsets, such as "US Army Training Center" and the later "Battleground" sets.


1. Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers (Lyrics)
2. Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna
3. Eminem explains his song "Stan"
(Yash Bhatia)
4. Eminem - Big Weenie (Lyrics) "I don't understand, why are you being so mean, you're a mean mean man"
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5. Learn English With Rap Songs | Eminem
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6. Eminem - Cleanin' Out My Closet (Official Music Video)


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