47

Lose Yourself

Eminem

8 Mile Soundtrack (2002)

I did not want to like an Eminem song. I pretty much hated the guy when he first came out. If he wasn’t acting like a fratboy-child, he was acting like a homophobic brute. But then he had to go and record one of the best rap songs ever, and I had to concede that the man may personally be a turn-off but the talent is there. The lyrics do an amazing job of putting you in the scene, right off the bat: “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti / He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready.” Eminem is good at getting into character, it’s just that this is the first time he sings as a character you want to root for.

Also check out: Eminem’s “White America” – perfectly distilling the (irrational) fear so many parents had