“Lose Yourself” is the theme song from Eminem’s semi-biographical 2002 movie 8 Mile. Eminem is narrating the life of the film’s protagonist, Jimmy, up until the third verse, where Jimmy and Eminem’s journey converge.
Eminem stated in his 2008 autobiography, The Way I Am, that he wrote “in-between shooting scenes [for 8 Mile] and taking care of [his] kids” (pg 108-109.) Scans of the scrawled lyrics on A4 writing pad pages were also featured in the autobiography (pg 217-218.)
Commercially, “Lose Yourself” was hugely successful and reached #1 in 20 countries, including the US. It marked Eminem’s first US #1, and held the top position for 12 weeks, becoming the third-longest chart-topper from a movie soundtrack (behind “I Will Always Love You” and “End Of The Road”). As of 2022, it is 13x Multi-Platinum in the US.
The song was lauded critically, too. It won two Grammys (Best Male Rap Solo Performance & Best Rap Song) and became the first rap song to win the Oscar for Best Original Song. Eminem didn’t attend the ceremony as he didn’t think he’d win, meaning he didn’t perform it, which is atypical for winners of the category. This was remedied when he performed the song at the 2020 Oscars.
The song has also had a huge cultural impact. Apple used the song for two commercials in the mid-‘00s to promote iTunes and the iPod, with Eminem featuring in the latter video. Chrysler used the instrumental and Eminem for their 2011 “Born of Fire” Super Bowl commercial. In 2021, Eminem opened up a restaurant in Detroit called “Mom’s Spaghetti”, which is a lyric that’s been meme’d extensively (even being given its own fan-made song.)