Will Eminem and 50 Cent ever collaborate again?

It’s easy to forget a time when Eminem’s choice collaborators were rooted in hip-hop. From RBX and Sticky Fingaz on “Remember Me,” to Xzibit on “Don’t Approach Me” and “Say My Name,” to Redman on “Off The Wall.” The list goes on. While glimmers of the past occasionally shine through (think “Chloraseptic Remix”), Em has seemingly embraced the pop-ballad, aligning himself with singers like Pink, Skylar Grey, and Beyonce. The creative choices on Revival were maligned by long-time fans, leaving many pondering the catalyst of this new direction.

It’s strange to reflect on a time when 50 Cent used to be a fixture on Eminem’s albums. Since his early millennium signing to Shady Records, Fifty has appeared on Encore, the 8 Mile Soundtrack, The Re-Up, and Relapse. Conversely, Em appeared on Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, The Massacre, Curtis, and Before I Self Destruct. Sadly, Relapse single“Crack A Bottle” signified the end of an era, pouring proverbial liquor to the curb in memory of the once mighty kindred spirits.

For the most part Eminem and 50 Cent come from disparate schools. Their respective discographies share little in common, save for involvement from Dr. Dre, and their approach to lyricism and flow seem cut from different cloths altogether. Consider Em’s other wingman Royce Da 5’9”, who has clearly drawn influence from some of Eminem’s chief inspirations; Redman and Masta Ace come to mind. When Royce and Em collaborate, they sound like two sides of the same coin – Bad and Evil.

50 hails from a different school altogether. The product of Southside Jamaica Queens, 50 Cent quickly became a dominant force on the mixtape circuit. More aligned with the rugged poetry of Raekwon than the dexterous bars of Pharoahe Monch, Fif slung music like a true hustler, peddling mixtapes with a generosity Em fans have never known. And while their roots are no doubt different, one uniting factor does stand out. Neither rapper has any qualms about making enemies.

50 Cent’s “How To Rob” seemed to target the entire game, drawing animosity from Jay-Z, Ghostface, Big Pun, and more. That isn’t even counting some of his more recent feuds including notorious tilts with Rick Ross and Jadakiss. Eminem’s own shit-list has led to some legendary exchanges, going through prominent feuds with Benzino and Ja Rule; Em was even about to go at Suge Knight until Dr. Dre urged him not to.

The only person to have amassed more beef than Eminem might be 50 himself. Yet for better or worse, the pair never failed to move as a unit, inheriting one another’s beefs without hesitation. The loyalty they had for one another made for one of hip-hop’s most unlikely and fruitful partnerships. In fact, loyalty and violence were two of the dominant themes behind many Eminem and 50 Cent collaborations; some of their best work came from dark places.

Consider one of their more underrated ones, The Massacre’s “I’m Supposed To Die Tonight.” While Em doesn’t actually have a verse, he steps into the producer’s chair with capable hands; his menacing instrumental is a character in itself, a dark lullaby over which 50 can freely embody hip-hop’s Grim Reaper. Another prominent Massacre cut is “Gatman & Robbin,” which finds Em and 50 tauntingly flaunting their status as hip-hop’s dynamic duo. Despite the cartoonish motif, the main thematic crux of is undying loyalty. The pair seems to embolden one another. “You touch Shady I’ll leave you dearly departed,” raps 50, a line later mirrored by Em.

It goes without saying that “Patiently Waiting” is their magnum opus. Once again, Em laces 50 Cent with another ominous instrumental, pioneering a sound that came to define the bulk of their early work. G-Unit’s “My Buddy” found Eminem occupying a similar musical headspace, laying down a haunting choral arrangement, transforming a traditional gun track into of something from a nightmare. 8 Mile’s “Love Me” follows the same trend, with Eminem once again layi

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