Eminem’s “Detroit vs. Everybody” featuring multiple other Detroit artists serves as a reminder to not forget where one comes from after reaching the top.
“Detroit vs. Everybody” was originally released as one of the singles on SHADYXV. The track was a highlight on an underwhelming album that left many Eminem fans wanting more.
The biggest theme in this song is overcoming. From Enimem to Big Sean to Trick Trick, all the artists featured in the song were raised in the Detroit area. They know firsthand the struggles of crime, poverty, and plummeting employment rates that plagued (and continue to plague) Detroit.
Welcome to Detroit, where if you get that promotion
Don’t worry, man, them bullets will still be at your ass firin’
It’s a dog-eat-dog world in Detroit. Many Detroiters are not able to survive and thrive like the MCs in “Detroit vs. Everybody” have. Those lines from Big Sean also feature a fun example of wordplay with “firin'” referring to both getting shot and getting laid off.
Honestly no honor roll, but honored up in them streets
‘Cause I’m a Linwood nigga, them young niggas hit ya
Put a stack on your head, you’ll bleed a lake on Grand River
If you think your hood harder, then I might beg to differ
Know some killers pull the trigger for a Swisher and Miller
In this verse, Danny Brown alludes to the gang warfare and crime that Detroit faces, particularly in his neighborhood of Linwood. The location of the song is also subtly kept at the forefront, with Brown referencing Grand River Avenue.
Eminem’s verse, which basically ends the track if one doesn’t count Trick Trick’s unremarkable outro, focuses on the “us vs. them” mentality that he obtained while growing up in Detroit. Although things were never easy before he became a star, there’s no place he’d rather be:
(DETROIT!) I can’t never leave this bitch
Sick of bein’ treated like we ain’t shit
For those who appreciate quality lyricism and flow, “Detroit vs. Everybody” is recommendable. It’s structured similarly to a rap battle and the MCs pulled no punches.