Eminem's climactic rap battle from the end of 8 Mile is re-circulating on social media this week as a surprising new meme. A fresh edit of the scene from TikTok user butters273 pairs the dramatic showdown with the Third Eye Blind song "Semi-Charmed Life," to great effect.
Sports media executive Steve Braband shared the 8 Mile edit on Twitter, where it picked up a lot of new traffic starting on Saturday morning. Many viewers marveled at how well the anachronistic music seemed to sync up with the scene, giving it an entirely different tone. It also led some to dig deep on this meme format and share other big hits, straining the impression the scene left viewers with.
Didn’t know I needed this pic.twitter.com/g8UQau46s0— Steve Braband (@stevebraband) February 27, 2021
In fact, the "8 Mile Rap Battle" meme is a small subgenre of its own, going back to at least 2015 according to its entry on KnowYourMeme. It may have started on Vine — a precursor to TikTok and another app that made it easy for users to swap the audio track on a familiar video. One of the first viral versions was a Vine with a mocking voice-over doing a parody of Eminem's style.
"Hi, my name is Emine, your girl want an M&M, so I gave her an M&M, M&M&M&M," the creator rapped, before adding in a high feminine voice from the audience: "Oh my god!"
This ones my personal fav pic.twitter.com/m6JcO6uwZq— CelestiaLudenberg (@YeahNahYourMum) February 28, 2021
Since then, just about anything that matches the rhythm of the original scene has been grafted onto it for comedic effect. With a little imagination, any song can be made to fit the waving of the crowd's hands while Eminem leads them in a call-and-response. Some of the most viral versions feature songs like "Already Dead" by Lil Bloom and "Man's Not Hot" by Big Shaq.
In fact, for the last few days, TikTok user butters273 has shared nothing but 8 Mile edits, from "All-Star" by Smash Mouth to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. Others include "Jump Around" by House of Pain and "Hot N—" by Bobby Shmurda.0comments
While the meme seems to mock Eminem and 8 Mile, it also shows a deep familiarity with his work. 8 Mile came out in 2002 and won Eminem an Oscar. It is loosely based on his own rise to fame in the Detroit, Michigan rap music scene, though it is often criticized for its melodrama. Eminem himself is also teased by other hip-hop professionals these days for his confrontational demeanor and his predictable lyrical tricks.
Still, the meme has some fans feeling understandably nostalgic, and for them, 8 Mile is streaming on the service MaxGo. It is also available to rent or purchase in most digital stores.