50 Cent and Eminem
Eminem paid homage to 50 Cent on his 42nd birthday REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Eminem has shocked fans by revealing he almost quit rap after hearing a verse from his longtime friend 50 Cent.

In a hilarious birthday message to 50 Cent, who turned 42 on 6 July, Eminem captioned the Instagram video: "What do you get the guy that has everything?" before reciting the rapper's verse on the 2002 track Places To Go.

Introducing the rap verse, Eminem, 44, says: "Yo Fif, first off I want to say happy birthday. Secondly, I want to remind you of a verse you did that made me want to quit rapping for a long time. Love you homie."

Lyrics include: "Picture a perfect picture, picture me in a pimp hat/ Picture me starting s**t, picture me busting my gat/ Picture police mad they ain't got a picture of that/ Picture me being broke, picture me smoking a sack/ Picture me coming up, picture me rich from rap/ Picture me blowing up, now picture me going back/ To my momma's basement to live, s**t, picture that."

Almost in character as 50 Cent, Slim Shady continues: "Where I'm from it's a fact, you gotta watch your back/ You wear a vest without a gat, you's a target, Jack/ Hustle hard, money stack, sell that dope, sell that crack/ Sell that pack, sell that gat, sell that p***y, holla back."

The track no doubt holds special significance to Eminem as it was produced by the Lose Yourself rapper himself and features on the soundtrack for his Oscar-winning movie 8 Mile. 50 Cent was touched by the birthday message and replied on his Instagram account: "Thank you @eminem you know your still the best in the world to me man, I love you bro."

What do you get the guy that has everything? Happy birthday @50cent.

A post shared by Marshall Mathers (@eminem) on

Although Eminem had warm intentions with his admission about quitting rap, one Twitter user perceived the rapper to be making a playful dig at 50 Cent and tweeted that the homage was "savage".

Another fan was pleased to see the Dr Dre proteges were still close friends, weighing in: "Eminem & 50 Cent have a great bromance going on."

One other fan keen to hear new music from the iconic rapper joked: "I think what 50 wants more then anything is... your new album."

Listen to 50 Cent's Places To Go: