This song is featured in Eminem's first movie, 8 Mile. The movie is loosely based on Eminem's life; he grew up in a poor Detroit neighborhood and followed his dream of rap stardom. The movie got very good reviews as Eminem turned out to be a surprisingly good actor. With "Lose Yourself," Eminem had to figure out a way to authentically express himself under the guise of a fictional character. "Because the movie is not me, the movie is Jimmy Smith Jr. So I'm playing this character, but I have to make parallels between my life and his, in this song. I gotta figure out how to reach a medium. It would sound so corny if I was just rapping as Jimmy Smith Jr. How is that going to come from a real place?" he explained on Genius. "If I'm telling you that my daughter doesn't have diapers, I need this amount of money to pay my bills this month, and it's some real s--t I'm telling you, then you know that it's just coming from me. That was the trick I had to figure out - how to make the rhyme sound like him, and then morph into me somehow, so you see the parallels between his struggles and mine."
On the movie set, Eminem had a trailer where he could record songs for the movie during breaks in filming. He wrote this in character as B. Rabbit, who he played in 8 Mile. Writing in character was nothing new for Eminem, as he had previously written songs as his alter ego, Slim Shady.
The track had been around for over a year before Eminem pulled it off a CD and decided to work off the beat. He had his musicians mold the beat around his vocals.
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