Like Toy Soldiers
Lyrics Eminem

Step by step, heart to heart, left right left
We all fall down...

Step by step, heart to heart, left right left
We all fall down like toy soldiers
Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win
But the battle wages on for toy soldiers

[Verse 1]
I'm supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders
I ain't never supposed to show it, my crew ain't supposed to know it
Even if it means goin' toe to toe with a Benzino it don't matter
I'd never drag them in battles that I can handle unless I absolutely have to
I'm supposed to set an example
I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide 'em
If some sh*t ever does pop off, I'm supposed to be beside 'em
That Ja sh*t I tried to squash it, it was too late to stop it
There's a certain line you just don't cross and he crossed it
I heard him say Hailie's name on a song and I just lost it
It was crazy, this sh*t went way beyond some Jay-z and Nas sh*t
And even though the battle was won, I feel like we lost it
I spent too much energy on it, honestly I'm exhausted
And I'm so caught in it I almost feel I'm the one who caused it
This ain't what I'm in hip-hop for, it's not why I got in it
That was never my object for someone to get killed
Why would I wanna destroy something I help build
It wasn't my intentions, my intentions was good
I went through my whole career without ever mentionin' Suge
And that was just out of respect for not runnin' my mouth
And talkin' about something that I knew nothing about
Plus Dre told me stay out, this just wasn't my beef
So I did, I just fell back, watched and gritted my teeth
While he's all over t.v. down talkin' a man who literally saved my life
Like f*ck it I understand this is business
And this sh*t just isn't none of my business
But still knowin' this sh*t could pop off at any minute cause


[Verse 2]
There used to be a time when you could just say a rhyme
And wouldn't have to worry about one of your people dyin'
But now it's elevated cause once you put someone's kids in it
The sh*t gets escalated, it ain't just words no more is it?
It's a different ball game, callin' names and you ain't just rappin'
We actually tried to stop the 50 and Ja beef from happenin'
Me and Dre had sat with him, kicked it and had a chat with him
And asked him not to start it he wasn't gonna go after him
Until Ja started yappin' in magazines how we stabbed him
F*ck it 50 smash 'em, mash 'em and let him have it
Meanwhile my attention is pullin' in other directions
Some receptionist at The Source who answers phones at his desk
Has an erection for me and thinks that I'll be his resurrection
Tries to blow the dust off his mic and make a new record
But now he's f*cked the game up cause one of the ways I came up
Was through that publication the same one that made me famous
Now the owner of it has got a grudge against me for nothin'
Well f*ck it, that motherf*cker can get it too, f*ck him then
But I'm so busy being pissed off I don't stop to think
That we just inherited 50's beef with Murder Inc.
And he's inherited mine which is fine ain't like either of us mind
We still have soldiers that's on the front line
That's willing to die for us as soon as we give the orders
Never to extort us, strictly to show they support us
We'll maybe shout 'em out in a rap or up in a chorus
To show them we love 'em back and let 'em know how important it is
To have Runyan Avenue, soldiers up in our corners
Their loyalty to us is worth more than any award is
But I ain't tryna have none of my people hurt and murdered
It ain't worth it, I can't think of a perfecter way to word it
Then to just say that I love ya'll too much to see the verdict
I'll walk away from it all before I let it go any further
But don't get it twisted, it's not a plea that I'm coppin'
I'm just willin' to be the bigger man
If ya'll can quit poppin' off at the jaws, well then I can
Cause frankly I'm sick of talkin'
I'm not gonna let someone else's coffin rest on my conscience cause


Song facts

"Like Toy Soldiers" is a song by American rapper Eminem from his fifth album Encore. The song samples 1989 song "Toy Soldiers" by Martika.

This song tells the story of his attempts to calm a violent community of rappers. He speaks openly about problems with The Source magazine and its editor Benzino, as well as Murder Inc. Records, and explains the feud between Ja Rule and 50 Cent, which Eminem felt went far beyond the Jay-Z vs. Nas feud. Eminem talks about beef of Beans, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall. Actor/rapper Nathan Kress appears as a cameo rapping on the microphone in Quad Studios, New York City. The song finishes as Eminem offers a truce to his enemies. Like Toy Soldiers features a vocal sample from "Toy Soldiers" by Martika, which makes up the chorus. In addition, this song also brings up some issues with his ongoing feud with Ja Rule who made some remarks about Hailie, Mathers' daughter, on a song called "Loose Change". Ja Rule called Eminem's wife "a known slut" and his mother a crackhead in the song and wondered what Eminem's then 8-year-old daughter Hailie was going to be "when she grows up". However, this could also be a reference to rapper Everlast. Eminem and Everlast at one point had beef, and Everlast dissed Haillie in a song. Eminem responded back with the song "Quitter" with D-12, and warns Everlast "If you talk about my little girl in a song again, Imma kill you". The feud has since died off; much before the beef with Murder Inc. and Benzino. "Like Toy Soldiers" was later included on Eminem's compilation album Curtain Call: The Hits in 2005.

Eminem leaves out a word in this song when referring to Dr. Dre's own feuds. From the context of someone with whom Dr. Dre had a feud, and the fact that the name must rhyme with "good," the word can be inferred to be "Suge," a reference to Suge Knight with whom Dr. Dre had problems in the mid 90's. At the Voodoo Concert in 2009, the Yankee Stadium Home & Home Concerts in 2010, and possibly other performances, Eminem completed the line, rapping "My intentions were good, I went through my whole career without ever mentioning Suge."

Released in 2006, the song's video depicts Eminem's fellow D12 member Proof being gunned down in a drive-by shooting. Later, in the early hours of April 11, 2006, Proof was actually shot and killed at the CCC nightclub on Detroit's 8 Mile Road. Cameo appearances in the video include 50 Cent, Luis Resto, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, and D12. Deceased rappers 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, Big L, and former D12 member Bugz are also shown at the end of the music video to show the fatal consequences of rap wars.


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