Lose Yourself

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For the Clint Mansell instrumental, see Black Swan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
"Lose Yourself"
Single by Eminem
from the album Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture 8 Mile
Released October 28, 2002
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded September 2001 – 2002;
(Detroit, Michigan)
Genre Hardcore hip hop, alternative hip hop, rap rock
Length 5:26 (album version)
4:26 (clean radio edit)
Label Shady, Aftermath, Interscope
Writer(s) Marshall Mathers, Luis Resto, Jeff Bass
Producer(s) Eminem, Jeff Bass (additional producer), Luis Resto (additional producer)
Certification 6x Platinum
Eminem singles chronology
"Cleanin' Out My Closet"
(2002)
"Lose Yourself"
(2002)
"Superman"
(2003)
Music video
"Lose Yourself" on YouTube

"Lose Yourself" is a song by the American rap artist Eminem, released as the first single from the soundtrack to his movie 8 Mile. Released on October 28, 2002, it was written and produced by Eminem himself, along with longtime collaborator Jeff Bass, one half of the production duo Bass Brothers. The song was largely written during the filming of 8 Mile, and plays to the themes of the film, as it is loosely written from the viewpoint of the character of Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith, Jr., who was portrayed by Eminem. The official demo version of this song, with two different verses and a slightly different hook, was released on Shady XV album November 24, 2014.[1]

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, but he has constantly been held back by his own personal problems. The song's production incorporates piano, violins and several other string instruments. The song is one of three new Eminem solo songs featured on the soundtrack, the other two being titled "8 Mile" and "Rabbit Run". Several critics cited this trio of songs as the best three from the soundtrack, as well as the most aggressive songs ever recorded by Eminem. "Lose Yourself" itself was also received very positively, 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 best songs of all time.

The song's accompanying music video, directed by Eminem himself, manager Paul Rosenberg and Phillip G. Atwell, was released on October 7, 2002. 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 colour, and his difficult personal life.

The song was critically acclaimed, and earned Eminem five Grammy nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004 and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2002, making it the first ever rap song to have received this accolade.[1] In 2004, it was one of only three hip-hop songs from the 21st century to have been included on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and was also the highest ranking, at number 166. Rolling Stone also ranked it one of the top 50 hip hop songs of all time. The song was certified quintuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[2] and as of March 2014, it has over 6.1 million downloads in the United States alone.[3] It was ranked number 93 on AFI's 100 years...100 songs. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 57 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[4] VH1 placed it at #4 for the best songs of the 2000s. Complex placed it at number 4 on its top 100 songs of the 2000s. The song has been routinely used to close out shows ever since it has been released, as it is considered to be a strong crowd favorite due to it being his most recognizable song. Listed at number 88 on NMEs 500 greatest songs of all time.

Background[edit]

Eminem says that "Lose Yourself" was written on set, during breaks during the filming of 8 Mile.[5] Taryn Manning, who played Eminem's ex-girlfriend Janeane in the movie 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."[6] 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, recording all three verses in one take.[7] The sheet on which he wrote the song appears in 8 Mile in a scene where his character is writing while riding the bus. A Drum & Bass remix has been made and was released on the mixtape Straight from the Lab, as a European bonus track.

Composition[edit]

"Lose Yourself" is a mid-tempo hardcore 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.

Piano chords described as "instantly recognizable" open the song.[8] Throughout the song there is a "tense, unrelenting guitar lick".[9]

Success and legacy[edit]

"Lose Yourself" is the most successful single of Eminem's mainstream 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 #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. It's his 2nd best selling song with over 6,000,000 million copies sold in the United States Of America.

In the United States, "Lose Yourself" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart the week of October 5, 2002, at #43. A week later, the single jumped to #18, and hit #1 by 9 November. The single spent 16 total weeks in the Top 10, and a total of 23 weeks in the Top 50. While in the #1 spot (from 11/09/02 through 1/25/03), "Lose Yourself"'s impressive run kept several top contenders for the #1 spot from ever reaching #1, including Jay-Z, Nelly, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and especially Missy Elliott, whose single "Work It" was at #2 for 10 weeks. The song also topped the Pop Songs chart for 7 weeks and hit #4 and #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 #14 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the rapper's only song to chart. It reached 4 million in sale by August 2011,[10] and as of June 2014, it has sold over 6.1 million copies in the U.S.[3] As of August 2014, it is the 47th best-selling single of the 21st century in France, with 386,000 units sold.[11]

The song went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Original Song[1] (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 believing 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.[12] 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-writers, had attended the ceremony and accepted the award instead. "He's creative, he has symphonies in his head," Resto said at the lectern about Eminem.[13] The American Film Institute later ranked it #93 on their list of the 100 Greatest Songs from American Films.

At the Grammy Awards of 2004, "Lose Yourself" became Eminem's second career nomination for Record of the Year (following "Without Me"), and the first rap song ever to be nominated for Song of the Year. It won Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song, which was a new category at the time.

At #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 #290 and Outkast's "Hey Ya!" at #180). The magazine later ranked the song the twelfth best of the '00s decade.[14] The song was the 51st best-selling single of the '00s decade in the United Kingdom[15]

The song's chorus consists of two repeated short verses.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 57 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[4] VH1 placed it at #4 for the best songs of the 2000s.

"Lose Yourself" itself was also received very positively, 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 best hip-hop songs of all time.

Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the song's production: "The opening track and first single "Lose Yourself" is easily equaled by the title song with its layered pianos" and he highlighted it.[16] NME Magazine 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)."[17] 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":[18] "And these times are so hard, and it's gettin even harder Tryin to feed and water my seed plus, teeter-totter Caught up between bein a father and a primadonna Baby momma drama screamin on her too much for me to wanna stay in one spot, another day of monotony has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail I've got to formulate a plot, or end up in jail or shot Success is my only motherfuckin option, failure's not Mom I love you but this trailer's got to go I cannot grow old in Salem's Lot So here I go it's my shot, feet fail me not This may be the only opportunity that I got." Critic concluded: "Eminem doesn't always produce stellar tracks for himself (always competent if occasionally bland) but on "Lose Yourself" he strikes a perfect balance with the assistance of Jeff Bass. Guitar riffs gradually build up the intensity during each verse, which thunders to a symphonic height in each chorus as it crashes into hard licks and tinkling pianoes. Eminem screams dire warnings in these breaks to all up-and-coming rap artists out there: "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow; this opportunity comes once in a lifetime." Indeed, that's what Marshall's life story and the movie based on it are supposed to be about - making sure to take that shot."[18] 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."[19]

Music video[edit]

The song's accompanying music video, directed by Eminem himself, manager Paul Rosenberg and Phillip G. Atwell, was released on October 7, 2002. 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.

At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards it received the award for Best Video from a Film in the final year this award was given out. It also received nominations for Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Rap Video, and Viewer's Choice. He won a MuchMusic Video Award in 2003 for Favorite International Artist with the video for "Lose Yourself".

The official video (uploaded by Eminem) has been viewed over 80 million times on YouTube making it one of Eminem's most popular videos on that site. However, it was restricted from viewing in 2011, spawning various privately uploaded versions.[citation needed]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Charlotte Diamond covered the song in a remix she called "Mom's Pasketti"
  • A hit comedic remix of the song under the name of "Mom's Spaghetti," by Andy of the Hitchcock Bros, uses repetition of Eminem saying "mom's spaghetti." One of the more popular uploads of it on YouTube, uploaded in 2012 by BigMitch Baker, has garnered ~700,000 views as of April 2014.[28]
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic made a parody of the song, titled "Couch Potato", on his 2003 album Poodle Hat. Eminem had given him permission to parody the song, but refused him permission to film a music video.
  • Irish pop rock band The Script did an alternative cover to this song in the BBC Radio's live lounge.
  • In 2003, the Australian comedy duo Scared Weird Little Guys produced a rap version of the folk song "Waltzing Matilda" called "Cleanin' Out My Tuckerbag", which parodies both "Lose Yourself" and "Cleanin' Out My Closet", but does not credit Eminem.
  • Christian parody band ApologetiX parodied the song as "Look Yourself". It is available on their 2003 album, Adam Up.
  • The show Robot Chicken parodied part of the film in the rapping sequence involving Bugs Bunny and a collection of other Looney Tunes characters.[29]
  • Lupe Fiasco sampled this song on his track "Lu Myself" (Jypsyeye on bass) on his mixtape, Lupe the Jedi and the Touch the Sky mixtape.[citation needed][citation needed]
  • During an October 2006 interview with the K102 Morning Crew in Minneapolis, country-pop artist Taylor Swift did an acoustic rendition of the intro and first verse of "Lose Yourself" live on the air, citing it as her favorite workout song.[citation needed]
  • The East Village Opera Company performs this song live, usually as an encore with full orchestra backing.[citation needed]
  • Fabolous made a remix to this track to honor Eminem.[citation needed]
  • Canadian rock band Three Days Grace have been covering "Lose Yourself" in a medley with their song "Home".
  • During the farewell concert, Polish hip hop group Paktofonika performed their song "W moich kręgach" ("In My Circles") with music background from "Lose Yourself".[30]
  • Post hardcore band Serianna covered this song in 2012, which is available as a digital download on iTunes and Amazon.[31]
  • Kelly Clarkson covered this song during her Clarkston, MI show on August 10, 2012 as part of her fan request cover song.[citation needed]
  • Jon Connor's 2012 mixtape The People's Rapper LP included a remix of the song, as well as other Eminem remixes.
  • Kellylee Evans covered this song on her 2013 album "I Remember When".[citation needed]
  • MGK covered the song while performing in front of St. Andrews Hall where 8 Mile was filmed[citation needed]
  • Hudson Taylor cover the song as part of "Lose Yourself Walking on the Flume" (The Police - Walking on the moon, Bon Iver - Flume).
  • A mashup of this song with German artist Nena's "Nur geträumt", created by HiFi Brown, was a German radio hit in 2003.[32]

Track listing[edit]

U.S / UK / European CD single
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Lose Yourself"   M. Mathers, L. Resto, J. Bass Eminem, Luis Resto, Jeff Bass 5:27
2. "Renegade" (Jay-Z feat. Eminem) M. Mathers, S. Carter, L. Resto Eminem 5:37
3. "Lose Yourself" (instrumental) M. Mathers, L. Resto, J. Bass Eminem, Luis Resto, Jeff Bass 5:29
4. "Lose Yourself" (video) M. Mathers, L. Resto, J. Bass Eminem, Luis Resto, Jeff Bass 5:29
5. "8 Mile Trailer"        

Credits and personnel[edit]

The credits for "Lose Yourself" are adapted from the liner notes of the original soundtrack to the movie 8 Mile.[33]

Recording
Personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[72] 7× Platinum 490,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[73] Platinum 30,000x
Belgium (BEA)[74] Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[75] Platinum 30,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[76] Gold 6,304[76]
France (SNEP)[77] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[79] Gold 250,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[80] Gold 10,000^
Italy (FIMI)[81] Gold 25,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[82] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[83] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[84] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[85] Platinum 30,000x
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[86] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[87] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[88] 6× Platinum 6,113,000[3]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 137. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - April 02, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Award created
Grammy Award for Best Rap Song
2004
Succeeded by
Jesus Walks
Preceded by
Hot In Herre
Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance
2004
Succeeded by
99 Problems
Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Dilemma" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
November 9, 2002 - January 25, 2003 (12 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Bump, Bump, Bump" by B2K featuring P. Diddy
Preceded by
"Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera featuring Redman
Irish IRMA number-one single
December 7, 2003 - January 4, 2003 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Sound of the Underground" by Girls Aloud
Preceded by
"Born to Try" by Delta Goodrem
Australia ARIA number-one single
December 8, 2002 - February 23, 2003 (12 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera
Preceded by
"If You're Not the One" by Daniel Bedingfield
UK number-one single
December 8, 2002 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
by Blue and Elton John
Preceded by
"Per me è importante" by Tiromancino
Italian FIMI number-one single
December 12, 2002 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Per me è importante" by Tiromancino
Preceded by
"Dilemma" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
Belgian (Flanders) number-one single
January 4, 2003 - January 18, 2003 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Live on Mars" by Jasper Steverlinck + Steven & Stijn Kolacny
Preceded by
"Feel" by Robbie Williams
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
January 4, 2003 - February 1, 2003 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
by Blue featuring Elton John
Preceded by
"The Ketchup Song" by Las Ketchup
Norwegian VG-Lista number-one single
2/2003 - 5/2003 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Nu Flow" by Big Brovaz
Preceded by
"Tiernapojat" by Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus
"In the Shadows" by The Rasmus
Finnish number-one single
2/2003 (1 week)
6/2003 - 7/2003 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"In the Shadows" by The Rasmus
"Music" by Darude
Preceded by
"Der Steuersong (Las Kanzlern)" by Die Gerd Show
Austrian number-one single
January 12, 2003 - January 26, 2003 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"All the Things She Said" by t.A.T.u.
Preceded by
"The Ketchup Song" by Las Ketchup
"All the Things She Said" by t.A.T.u.
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
January 18, 2003 - February 8, 2003 (4 weeks)
March 22, 2003 - April 12, 2003 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"All the Things She Said" by t.A.T.u.
"In da Club" by t.A.T.u.
Preceded by
"Tu es foutu" by In-Grid
Swedish number-one single
January 23, 2003 - March 13, 2003 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Drove All Night" by Céline Dion
Preceded by
"Paris Latino" by Star Academy 2
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
January 25, 2003 - February 15, 2003 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Mundian to Bach Ke" by Panjabi MC
Preceded by
"The Ketchup Song" by Las Ketchup
"Nu Flow" by Big Brovaz
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
January 26, 2003 - February 9, 2003 (3 weeks)
February 23, 2003 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Nu Flow" by Big Brovaz
"All the Things She Said" by t.A.T.u.
Preceded by
"Every Little Part of Me" by Julie
Danish number-one single
January 30, 2003 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Superstar" by Christine Milton
Preceded by
"Le Frunkp" by Alphonse Brown
Swiss number-one single
March 9, 2003 (1 week)
March 23, 2003 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Le Frunkp" by Alphonse Brown
"Take Me Tonight" by Alexander