Amid fake YouTube diss songs and rumors that Eminem was quietly fuming over Drake’s scuffle with his associate Joe Budden, the Michigan rapper crashed the Summer ’16 tour Tuesday night in Detroit. The duo bathed in the hometown ovation and performed 2009 breakout hit “Forever.”
Apparently caught in the moment’s surefire trending prowess, Drake called Eminem the “greatest rapper to ever get on a microphone.” It was a strong coup by Drake’s team. As Vulture notes, this was only Eminem’s third live performance of the year.
Upon its release, “Forever” existed to market NBA superstar LeBron James. It also unintentionally passed the torch to Drake. The song’s high-profile contributors—Em, Kanye West, Lil Wayne—essentially proved Drake, then just a newcomer, as an artist worthy of landing an expensive guest list. By its release in the late summer of 2009, Drake was a buzzing rookie winning on his January mixtape, So Far Gone.
And while Eminem stans are among the most visceral lot online—think Juggalos with the self-righteousness of a New York City hip-hop purist who insists it doesn’t get better than Black On Both Sides—they have to admit: Em has rarely rapped a verse as razor-sharp since.