Meaning of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

“Lose Yourself” is a song by American superstar rapper Eminem. The song contains lyrics that are about the life of the character Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. from the 2002 film “8 Mile” starring Eminem (who played the  role of B-Rabbit). It also stars Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and the late Brittany Murphy, among other popular actors and actresses. The movie, which is heavily based on numerous events in Eminem’s real life, follows the challenges of B-Rabbit, who is an aspiring white rapper. B-Rabbit struggles against all odds to make it as a rapper and gain the respect of his fellow rappers – just like Eminem did in real life.

All in all, “Lose Yourself” is truly an inspirational song. Owing to this, the lyrics do nothing but motivate and inspire listeners. They encourage listeners to lose themselves in the moment and endeavor not to miss the golden opportunities that life presents them with.

Lyrics of "Lose Yourself"

Facts about “Lose Yourself”

  • The song reached number 1 in over a dozen countries across the globe, including in the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The song was Eminem’s first ever number 1 hit in the United States.
  • In 2003, when the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, it made history by becoming the first rap song to ever win an Academy Award.
  • Aside being regarded as one of the greatest hip hop song ever released, the song also made it into Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It was placed at the 166th position, making it only one of the handful of hip hop songs to ever make it into the list.
  • In 2014, Eminem filed a lawsuit against The National Party of Australia after the party used an unlicensed version of the song in a campaign video.
  • In 2015, while sentencing a pair of twins to prison for violently attacking a gay man, D.C. Superior Court Judge Yvonne Williams took a quote from the song. She went on to refer to it as an inspirational song.
  • The Mekhi Phifer that Eminem mentions in the lyrics refers to someone real. It is actually the American actor Mekhi Phifer who starred alongside Em in “8 Mile”.

Notable Performance

This song won an Academy Award (aka an Oscar) in 2003 in the category of Best Original Song, as it was featured on Slim Shady’s autobiographical movie “8 Mile” (2002). Eminem was not present at the ceremony that year to receive the award. He was also supposed to perform the song live at the Oscars. However, he decided not to because the organizers would not allow him perform the uncensored version of it. As a result of that, “Lose Yourself” became the first Academy Award winning song that wasn’t performed at The Oscars.

However, he did shock the world so to speak by performing “Lose Yourself” at the 2020 Oscars. And there are three reasons why the decision to feature Eminem caught so many people off guard. 

The 3 Reasons

First is that as aforementioned, the song he performed won an award almost two decades prior. Second is that the producers of the show kept his performance a top secret. It was such a secret that there was reportedly a clause where Em could cancel if his appearance was made public beforehand. But perhaps most notably is that Oscars in and of themselves are not really a venue for rappers. And this is apparently the main reason why Shady didn’t attend back in 2003 when he was actually nominated.

Did “Lose Yourself” win a Grammy?

Yes. At the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004, the song clinched two Grammy Awards. It won in the below categories:

  • “Best Rap Solo Performance
  • “Best Rap Song”

Did Eminem write “Lose Yourself”?

Yes. Eminem alongside American music producers Jeff Bass of the Bass Brothers fame and Luis Resto penned this classic. According to Em, he wrote the song while he was on the set of the iconic film “8 Mile”.

FYI: There is a scene in “8 Mile” where Eminem’s character B-Rabbit is writing the song’s lyrics on a sheet of paper. Interestingly enough, that is the actual sheet on which Eminem penned down the lyrics of this classic.

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