Eminem’s performance of ‘Lose Yourself’ during Sunday’s 92nd Oscars Awards was met with immediate applause from the A-listers in attendance, but many viewers were confused as to why the ’03 hit was relevant 17-years on.
Globally, we are pretty familiar with Eminem and his monumental chart smashes over the decades and ‘Lose Yourself’ is no different.
The track won ‘Best Original Song’ award at the 2003 awards ceremony for its feature on the soundtrack to 8 Mile – much to Em’s surprise.
It’s an absolute banger – there’s no denying that – but the Rap God revealed he was left pretty confused after learning he had bagged himself the prestigious accolade for his performance on it.
Eminem became the first hip-hop artist in history to receive the award, but rather bizarrely, he completely swerved the Oscars limelight letting his collaborator Luis Resto accept the award in his place.
Speaking to Variety, Eminem explained that the surprise 2020’s performance was his chance to seize the spotlight after previously turning down the opportunity to perform at the 2003 ceremony.
“I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool”, he said.
“Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed ‘Lose Yourself’ on the Grammys with The Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn’t think it was a good idea. And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me”.
Looking back Em explains he spent the night of the ’03 Oscars with daughter, Hailie, grabbing an early night as she had school in the morning.
“Luis Resto, my keyboard player who produces records with me, went up and accepted it – and I know people were probably like, ‘Who the f- is this guy?”.
“But then when I found out I won, ‘That’s crazy!’ That to me shows how authentic and real that award is – when you don’t show up and you still win. That makes it very real to me”.
“So, he called me, and I remember the phone kept ringing, and I’m like ‘Motherf-, I’m tryin’ to sleep!’ But [I answered] and he’s like ‘Hey man, you won!’ ‘I did? Sh-! Cool’ But that was a different time and I was in a different place in my life”, Em reveals.
“I don’t know that I was disappointed [to have missed it], I was blown back by the fact that I won”.
“I don’t even think I understood back then that you could get an Oscar for a song, and I remember being kinda confused about why I was even up for one, because as a kid with the Oscars, it was like a vacuum”, he continues.
Although many lifelong fans of Eminem were overjoyed to see him spit rhymes on such a prestigious stage – for Billy Eichner, Lion King star and comedian, his performance didn’t go down too well.
Billy took issue with Em’s performance on Twitter saying: “Well, you can still sing the word “faggot” a million times and still perform at the Oscars that’s about “diversity”. Mmkay”.
Eminem has faced heavy criticism over the years for his use of anti-gay lyrics and we aren’t just talking way back when in the days of Encore and Curtain Call.
As recent as 2018 on his album, Kamikaze, Eminem used the word “faggot” to describe Tyler, The Creator.
But in a bid to rectify his wrongs, his latest track ‘Music to Be Murdered By’ included an apology to Tyler as well as a feature by lesbian rapper, Young MA.
This led Variety to ponder whether “Eminem’s rampant homophobia may be in remission” in its review of the album.
We have to say if Em was as anti-gay as claimed, perhaps he wouldn’t have the likes of Elton John defending his corner so publicly over the years.
In a 2017 interview on The Graham Norton Show, Elton said any accusations of homophobia were “nonsense” and recalled an unusual wedding gift he had received from Em back in 2005 when he married David Furnish.
“We had two diamond-encrusted cock rings on velvet cushion”, revealed Elton.
“That shows you how homophobic he isn’t”, he added.
We were just glad to see Em looking so well – a little older, a little hairier but with all the usual swag.
‘Lose Yourself’ just gets better with age.