The song “Lose Yourself” is an anecdote written by Eminem, as it describes his transition from living in a trailer park on 8 Mile in Detroit Michigan to becoming a rap superstar and signing with Dr. Dre. Eminem wrote the song for the motion picture 8 Mile, which is a story based on Eminem’s life before signing with Dre. The movie features a character named Rabbit (played by Eminem) going through the struggles of living in a terrible neighborhood, performing in local rap battles, and dealing with opposition and enemies. The song Lose Yourself starts out with one of the most famous verses in rap music. Eminem is describing the feelings he gets before he takes the stage, and the nervousness that comes with performing in high-pressure situations. Eminem references the feeling you get inside as your knees get weak and the crowd becomes so loud that you can’t hear your own thoughts. He talks about how you must maintain your composure and never miss an opportunity. The second verse focuses more on Eminem’s home life, as he talks about how things at home are only becoming harder. Eminem discusses how he feels like he is distant from everyone, and how he feels that making it in the music business is the only thing he has left to work for. The third verse is somewhat of the final battle cry of the song. In this verse Eminem talks about how he is finally feeling the confidence to take the stage and make a name for himself. He wants to grow up, leave 8 Mile, and he has never felt as ready as he does now. The hook focuses on a theme similar to the first story, as Eminem is describing how you can’t give in when the going gets tough, and how you must “lose yourself” in the moment in order to fully make it meaningful. I personally love the song, and love the rags to riches theme Eminem carries with him. Eminem’s delivery is unlike any other rapper I have ever listened to, and I also find his rhyme schemes to be very original. “Lose Yourself” is no exception to these opinions, as I think this song exemplifies Eminem at his best, performance wise and lyrically. The song is very positive and has a “you can achieve anything” attitude, which I am very fond of.
The lyrics are incorporated into a very original rap beat, as unlike most rap beats the one in “Lose Yourself” contains electric guitar and other samples common to rock music. This gives the song a more rap-rock styled feel, and due to that Eminem is able to build up to the hooks nicely. With all of the instrumentation going on the song sounds much more full, giving listeners a much more atmospheric environment within their headphones. The song is very memorable because it is not only one of Eminem’s most famous, but it is also critically acclaimed as his best. As a listener, I can say that this song is the kind of song that gives me chills, and also the type that inspires me to chase after my dreams. The lyrics overall are very well written, and develop from nervousness to confidence by the end of the song, exemplifying exactly what Eminem is trying to encourage upon the listener with the hook (chorus) of the song.
As I had previously mentioned in the first paragraph, the song is autobiographical of Eminem’s actual rise to fame, and is part of the soundtrack to the movie 8 Mile. It carries the theme of “rags to riches,” which some of Eminem’s other songs exemplify as well. Other rappers who had hit their peak in years previous to Eminem such as the Notorious B.I.G. have also rapped about similar themes and stories. Eminem is a very versatile rapper, as some of his songs can be incredibly serious and hard hitting (like “Lose Yourself”), and others can be very funny and comical. The song is not unusual for Eminem as he is extremely talented and has other very serious songs, but it is also not the average run-of-the-mill song. I can imagine the song is very special to Eminem himself, as it is an anecdote from his life. It seems to describe some very important views he has about rising to an occasion and making the most out of life. I too find the song very inspiring, as the song conveys a theme I believe in and also shows that you can achieve anything that you work for. Since I played in a band I have also experienced the nervousness Eminem wrote about in the song, and found it to be true that you must rise to the occasion and capture the moment, as some of the best moments of my life were on stage.
I believe this song is perfect for any type of playlist. It is extremely adaptable, as it can match up to rock songs due to the instrumentals, match up to rap songs due to the lyricism and vocal style, and provide inspiration in daily tasks. The song could help a person get into working out or help pump them up for a big game. It can also do as little as prepare a person for the work or school day by inspiring them to be the best they can. The only type of playlist I can’t see this song in is a relaxing music playlist, as the song is very upbeat and moving. Anyone who appreciates a good story or poem could also get hooked on this song, as it displays exceptional lyricism.
Mathers, Marshall. “Eminem – Lose Yourself.” Rap Genius. Genius Media, n.d. Web. 06
Mathers, Marshall. Lose Yourself. Eminem. Eminem, 2002. CD.