Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #2 Eminem “Lose Yourself”Posted by Nathan S. on 12/21/09 | Filed under Top Stories, Features, Eminem, Best of the 2000s
I really shouldn't have to defend this pick, but just so we're clear..."Lose Yourself" was not only the most successful song of Eminem's career, it's the most successful song in rap history. Check out this resume: number one on the Billboard charts for 12 straight weeks (a record for a rap song), two million downloads, two Grammy awards (four total Grammy nominations) and, of course, an Oscar. Recorded by Em and producer Luis Resto during the filming of "8 Mile", it's no exaggeration to say that "Lose Yourself" is the song that improbably made America fall in love with a crazy white rapper from Detroit.
Hip-hop heads knew for years that beneath the often insane exterior Slim Shady's songs were embedded with some of the greatest rhymes ever spit into a mic. But for mainstream America he was just that crazy white rapper guy who said horrible things, until "Lose Yourself". Once Em dropped "Lose Yourself" people across the country simultaneously realized that A; they could relate to Eminem as an underdog, and B; the man was a serious artist. As impossible as it may have seemed in 2001, by the time "Lose Youself" had truly blown up in 2002 households across America were ready to welcome Em into their homes. High school football games played it during halftime, suburban mothers listened to it during aerobics classes and the streets banged it every chance they got. Of course the tie in to the largely critically acclaimed movie, in which it has to be said Eminem definitely held his own, didn't hurt either. In short, "Lose Yourself" united America like no rap song has done before.
On a strictly rhyme basis is "Lose Yourself" the best song in Eminem's catalog? No, it's not. But in terms of what the song meant for Eminem's place in the music industry landscape in for hip-hop as a whole, it's easily the most important and influential track in the man's illustrious, often infamous career. There's no doubt in my mind that it deserves the number 2 position. Congratulations Marshall Mathers, you've now got the rest of your life to try to top this one.
For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.
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