He knows, his whole back's to these ropes

from Eminem – Lose Yourself Lyrics on Rap Genius


Another way of saying, “his back is against the wall”, but this term is usually used for boxers. This shows the connection the two have.

In addition to just any boxing metaphor, Eminem might be making a play on words with “ropes” and “dope” from Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy in the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman on October 30, 1974.

He knows he’s in some deep shit but he won’t back down.

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