There was certainly quite a gap in years between Eminem's "Lose Yourself" winning an Oscar in 2003 and his performance of the song during Sunday's Academy Awards. In a surprise to everyone, the Detroit rapper emerged onstage to sing his iconic track. The whole ordeal was kept under wraps by the Academy and Eminem, who made it known he wanted the performance to be a secret from the get-go.
Those in attendance and those watching at home were left in shock at the surprise of the night. His Oscars debut left many wondering exactly why he chose now to perform "Lose Yourself." He answered that in an interview with Variety, in which he also didn't rule out returning to the big screen.
He said it had to do with the fact that he never got to do the song live when it won. He also wasn't in attendance in 2003 to accept the award, either.
"Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed 'Lose Yourself' on the Grammys with the Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn't think it was a good idea," he explained. "And also, back at that time, the younger me didn't really feel like a show like that would understand me."
Eminem noted that it was "surreal" when he found out he won the top honor for the hit song from 8 Mile.
The rapper went on to say the Academy approached him about performing the song as they had included it in a montage featuring some of the most iconic movie soundtracks. Between their offer and the fact that he recently released his 11th studio album at the end of January, he felt the timing was just right.
He also liked the fact that they intended to keep it a secret, which was something he was fully behind.
"It was presented to me that way and I said, 'Oh that's kinda dope, to not even announce it,'" he added.0comments
After his performance went viral, Eminem posted a tweet in which he thanked all those involved for having him on the program after all these years. In his post, he also included a video of Barbara Streisand, who was the presenter of the award back in 2003.
"Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here," he posted with a video of the 2003 announcement by Barbara Streisand attached.