Look—one of the less-great things about aging is that soon the jams you had in high school are relegated to being “oldies but goodies” and surly-but-cool teens are sure to let you know that what you once loved and held dear is now tragically passé.
The counterpoint to this slow decay is that when people, songs, or yes, even soda flavors of your youth pop up unexpectedly (never forget the Crystal Pepsi renaissance from a few years ago) it makes you happy. Especially if that unexpected pop-by is Eminem performing “Lose Yourself” at the Oscars last night.
This. Song. Is. A. F*cking. Jam.
Do you know how rare it is to have someone still out there, making good music, almost 20 years on? Where the hell is BBMak? Simple Plan? Sum 41? Blu Cantrell? Fountains of Wayne? Eifeel 65? All I’m saying is—we’ve taken Em’s presence for granted. Especially because he’s seen the error of previous shitty behavior towards people, and has publicly apologized. (Here, too.)
Also, you’ll recall “Lose Yourself” won the Oscar back in 2003, and Eminem, like the rest of us, didn’t realize that one day in the future we might miss the good old days of overly plucked eyebrows, Paris Hilton reality shows, and spaghetti strap tank tops paired inexplicably with ties. Back then he decided not to attend the ceremony because frankly the Oscars have always been pretty stodgy, and a dude of 28 who was at the top of his game in hip hop probably didn’t need that validation at the time…
We’re all older now (and honestly, I could have really done without the Billie Eilish cut away during that performance, because that made me feel really, really old) but the simple fact remains: “Lose Yourself” is still great. It most likely always will be. Eminem is one of the best in the game, to this day. In fact, the only thing that dates this song, in 2020, is the reference to Mekhi Phifer. Note to Billie Eilish and others: Mekhi Phifer is an actor who had a great run in the early aughts, including a stint on ER (ask your parents about that show) but isn’t that famous in 2020.
Furthermore, if “Lose Yourself” is good enough to hype up President Obama it’s good enough to hype us all up, any time, any day, any event.
So please, let us not question why we were given the gift of “Lose Yourself” last night and just be grateful that we finally were, 17 years later.
I leave you with a bonus clip because I very much enjoy The Game explaining why you never, ever f*ck with Em.
Header Image Source: Getty