3 Rappers Peeking at Eminem’s Playbook

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G-Eazy, a rapper who has been influenced by Eminem, just released a new album, “The Beautiful & Damned.”

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Iheartmedia

Eminem’s pop breakthrough at the turn of the millennium inspired fears that he might turn all of hip-hop white, or that the genre might somehow become recalibrated in his image. That didn’t happen — his talent was so specific that emulators were tough to come by — but his influence has cast a long shadow.

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Lil Xan is a rising star in the SoundCloud rap scene.

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Chad Batka for The New York Times

The last few years especially have seen aspects of Eminem’s art and personality seep into the pop mainstream, especially in the work of Macklemore, who emerged from Seattle’s independent hip-hop scene to become a pop phenomenon with intricate rhymes. (He also became an artist who prioritized social and cultural politics more than Eminem ever did.)

Here are three other rappers adapting specific parts of the Eminem playbook and finding large — and not-quite-overlapping — audiences.

G-Eazy

Slender and handsome, G-Eazy is hip-hop’s matinee idol, a white rapper with an outsize ego and a skill set that occasionally matches it. G-Eazy is from the Bay Area, and he’s at his best in the nimble, lighthearted style of the region. But as he’s become more famous, his work has turned more insular, and more preoccupied with the wages of fame. (Its spoils, too.) On Friday he released his third major-label album, “The Beautiful & Damned,” which is full of anxious music delivered confidently, and sometimes smarmily.

Lil Xan

Eminem fundamentally remade hip-hop’s relationship to drugs, bringing abuse and addiction to the fore, but also venerating a kind of drug-addled mischief. You can hear the contemporary version of that ethos in the prescription-drug-obsessed hip-hop of the SoundCloud generation. One of that scene’s rising stars is Lil Xan, a lighthearted young California rapper of Mexican descent who raps in a cheerily woozy slur. He sounds best over the whimsical production of Bobby Johnson on songs like “Xanarchy” and “Betrayed,” which recently became Lil Xan’s first entry on the Billboard Hot 100.

NF

“Let You Down,” the current hit by the rapper NF, suggests a close study of Eminem’s catalog, from the portentously sad female vocals to the dexterous rhyme patterns to the heavy sense of regret caused by knowing you have caused others pain. NF, from Michigan, has had most of his success in the Christian music world. “Let You Down” is his first mainstream hit, and it comes from “Perception,” which had a surprise debut at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart in October.

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