"Lose Yourself" is a song by American rapper Eminem from the soundtrack to the 2002 motion picture 8 Mile. The song was written by Eminem and produced by Eminem along with longtime collaborator Jeff Bass, one half of the production duo Bass Brothers, and Luis Resto. It was released on October 28, 2002, as the lead single from the soundtrack. The song's lyrics explicitly sum up the background of Eminem's character in 8 Mile, B-Rabbit, with the first verse summing up much of the plot of the movie. The song incorporates several aggressive themes, largely dealing with the struggles dealt with by B-Rabbit, and how he eventually overcomes his many problems and obstacles to gain the respect of other rappers.
"Lose Yourself" was a commercial success, becoming Eminem's first BillboardHot 100 number-one single and remaining there for twelve consecutive weeks. It reached atop of the charts in nineteen other countries. "Lose Yourself" received acclaim from music critics, with many critics praising the song's inspiring, aggressive themes and describing it as Eminem's best work to date. Eminem's rapping ability, the lyrics and the production were also praised. In many retrospective reviews and lists, critics have cited the song among Eminem's finest, as well as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time.
The music video for the song, directed by Eminem, manager Paul Rosenberg and Phillip G. Atwell, was released on October 7, 2002. The video is a mixture of multiple scenarios, including scenes from and reminiscent of the movie 8 Mile, and Eminem rapping next to the "8 Mile Rd. Mobile Court" sign that appears on the cover of the movie's soundtrack. It received the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film.
Eminem says that "Lose Yourself" was written on set, during breaks while filming 8 Mile.Taryn Manning, who played Jimmy's ex-girlfriend Janeane in 8 Mile, said in an interview with MTV, that during the filming of the movie, in any downtime, Eminem was writing and that "you could just see him formulating stuff in his head." According to studio engineer Steven King, who spoke to Rolling Stone magazine, Eminem recorded the song in a portable studio on the set while he was on a break from shooting, using only one take for each verse. The sheet on which he wrote the song appears in 8 Mile in a scene where his character is writing while riding the bus.
The official demo version of this song, titled "Lose Yourself (Demo Version)" with two different verses and a slightly different hook, was released on the album Shady XV November 24, 2014. A Drum & Bass remix has been made and was released on the mixtapeStraight from the Lab as a European bonus track.
"Lose Yourself" is a mid-tempo hip hop track with an urgent narrative delivery. The song's lyrics explicitly sum up the background of Eminem's character in 8 Mile, B-Rabbit, with the first verse summing up much of the plot of the movie. The song incorporates several aggressive themes, largely dealing with the struggles dealt with by B-Rabbit, and how he eventually overcomes his many problems and obstacles to gain the respect of other rappers.
The song's chorus consists of two repeated short verses.
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The song's production incorporates piano, drums, violins, and several other string instruments. The song is one of four new Eminem solo songs on the soundtrack, the other three being "8 Mile", "Rabbit Run" and "Stimulate" (included on deluxe edition only). Several critics cited this trio of songs as the best three from the soundtrack, as well as the most aggressive songs Eminem ever recorded. Piano chords described as "instantly recognizable" open the song. Throughout the song there is a "tense, unrelenting guitar lick". The song is in the key of D minor.
"Lose Yourself" received widespread critical acclaim, with many critics praising the song's aggressive themes and describing it as Eminem's best work to date. Eminem's rapping ability, the lyrics and the production were also praised as well. In many retrospective reviews and lists, critics have cited the song among Eminem's finest, as well as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the song's production: "The opening track and first single [from the 8 Mile soundtrack] "Lose Yourself" is easily equaled by the title song with its layered pianos" and he highlighted it.
NME was extremely positive: "Eminem's urgent radio hit 'Lose Yourself', you already know. It's excellent, if obviously an offcut from 'The Eminem Show', all thundering rawk guitars and Rocky-ish bassline (appropriately enough)." RapReviews also noted: "And as all great journeys begin with a single step, so too does Eminem with this album's opening song AND lead single entitled "Lose Yourself": 411 Mania praised the song: "The album wastes no time, delivering the hit 'Lose Yourself' as the first track. The song is basically as close to a ballad as Eminem will ever get. It is a very hot, adrenaline-laced track. It also continues Eminem's recent trend of putting out tracks with more of a meaning."
In the United States, "Lose Yourself" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart the week of October 5, 2002, at No. 43 prior to its release 24 days later, which is October 28 of that same year. A week later, the single jumped to No. 18, and hit No. 1 on the week of November 9 and remained there for twelve consecutive weeks until it was knocked off by Bump, Bump, Bump by B2K and P. Diddy. The single spent 16 total weeks in the Top 10, and a total of 23 weeks in the Top 50. While in the No. 1 spot (from November 9, 2002, through January 25, 2003), "Lose Yourself" kept several top contenders for the No. 1 spot from ever reaching No. 1, including Jay-Z, Nelly, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and especially Missy Elliott, whose single "Work It" was at No. 2 for 10 weeks. The song also topped the Pop Songs chart for 7 weeks and hit No. 4 and No. 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs charts. The song also used some rock music origins allowing moderate success to alternative rock radio peaking No. 14 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the rapper's only song to chart. It reached 4 million in sale by August 2011, and as of September 2017[update], it has sold 7.37 million copies in the U.S.
In France, it is the 53rd best-selling single of the 21st century, with 386,000 units sold as of August 2014[update]. By December 2016, it had sold more than 11,590,000 units worldwide.
As of March 2018[update], it had sold 10 million copies in the U.S and has now been certified diamond.
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The song's accompanying music video, directed by Eminem, manager Paul Rosenberg and Phillip G. Atwell, was released on October 7, 2002. It was uploaded on YouTube by msvogue23 on August 6, 2015. The video is a mixture of several scenarios, largely including several scenes from 8 Mile, however it also contains scenes addressing problems the real life Eminem has addressed, as well as "B-Rabbit"'s difficulties, including the ostracism by rap communities towards him due to his color, and his difficult personal life.
The music video for "Lose Yourself" was filmed in Detroit, Michigan, and thus contains numerous shots of the city, including the Ambassador Bridge. The video is a mixture of multiple scenarios, including scenes from and reminiscent of the movie 8 Mile, and Eminem rapping next to the "8 Mile Rd. Mobile Court" sign that appears on the cover of the movie's soundtrack.
It contains scenes focusing on Rabbit's and the real life Eminem's character, for example, the difficulties he has to face while rapping, the insult and booing of crowds as he is a white rapper and the trouble he has to face due to his alcoholic mother and people he hangs out with.
As of December 29, 2020, a fan-edit video reached one billion views on YouTube. This makes it one of the top 300 most viewed videos. The original music video was originally uploaded by Eminem, but was indirectly blocked from UMG.
"Lose Yourself" is the most successful single of Eminem's career. Upon its release, the track was a worldwide chart success, peaking at number one on 24 national charts worldwide. These included the US Billboard Hot 100, making it Eminem's first number-one hit in the United States. It had a 12-week run at No. 1 in the United States and Australia, and topped the charts in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Denmark. It debuted at number nine in Canada and moved up to #1 the following week. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "Lose Yourself" became the "Longest-Running Single at Number One for a Rap Song" at 23 weeks. With over 6 million copies sold in the United States, it is Eminem's third-best-selling song, just behind "Love the Way You Lie" and "Not Afraid".
The song went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Original Song (the first time a rap song ever won this award), beating other nominees like U2's "The Hands That Built America." Eminem, who was not present at the award ceremony as he believed he would not win, said in a Shade 45 Behind the Boards interview with Cipha Sounds that he was actually sleeping, with cartoons on for his daughter, at the time the award was announced. This was the first time in 14 years the winner of the Best Original Song category did not perform at the ceremony. Luis Resto, one of the song's co-producers, had attended the ceremony and accepted the award on his behalf. "He's creative, he has symphonies in his head," Resto said at the lectern about Eminem. Mathers denied his absence was due to objections the show's producers had with the song's profanity. Eminem would later perform verses 1 and 3 of the uncensored song at a special performance during the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020, 17 years after he won the award, with brief moments of silence in the show's telecast. The American Film Institute later ranked it #93 on their list of the 100 Greatest Songs from American Films.
At No. 166, "Lose Yourself" is the highest-ranked of the three songs from the 21st century featured in the 2004 List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (joining "Stan" at No. 290 and Outkast's "Hey Ya!" at No. 180), although it was dropped from the 2010 update. The magazine later ranked the song the twelfth best of the '00s decade. The song was the 51st best-selling single of the '00s decade in the United Kingdom. The song was placed at number 104 by Pitchfork on their list of "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s".
In October 2011, NME placed it at number 57 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". VH1 placed it at #4 for the best songs of the 2000s. In April 2016, it was placed at number 28 by Rolling Stone on their list of "100 Greatest Hip-hop songs of all time".
The song continued to be prominent in 2020. In an analysis of over 30,000 songs on Spotify, "Lose Yourself" was in the top 10 most popular songs on running playlists along with one of the most popular songs of the year in which the data was analysed, "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd, which also shares its tempo at 171 beats per minute. The song was also used by PresidentJoe Biden for his 2020 presidential campaign. Mathers, a Biden supporter and endorser, gave his consent to let Biden use it for one of his ads.
In 2003, a part of the tune of the song is used as the theme music on the German detective series Lenßen & Partner.
In 2004, in the South Park episode "You Got F'd in the A", right after Stan's conversation with his dad in the hospital, a variation of the song can be heard in the background.
In 2005–2006, Queen + Paul Rodgers (a collaboration between the band and the singer) used the song as the house music for all of the concerts on their Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour. When the song cut out, the concert would begin with Paul Rodgers singing the opening lines of Reaching Out by Rock Therapy (featuring Rogers and Queen guitarist Brian May), before launching into the first full song. A live recording of this was later used by Eminem as a sample for his 2009 track "Beautiful".
On February 6, 2011, Chrysler premiered a 2-minute television commercial for the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, with an instrumental track of "Lose Yourself" playing in the background. Eminem appears in the commercial, which first aired on Fox during Super Bowl XLV.
The rollercoaster Bizarro at Six Flags New England has a soundtrack that is played during the ride, part of which features the song.