Eminem left audiences scratching their heads when he performed his 2003 hit “Lose Yourself” at the 92nd Academy Awards on Monday. Even some members of the crowd in the Dolby Theatre were evidently confused by his surprise performance which was kept a secret before it actually took place. It prompted meme-worthy reactions from Billie Eilish and Idina Menzel. Nonetheless, a lot of stars like Gal Gadot and Zazie Beetz were bopping their heads to the tune and it managed to get a standing ovation from the audience.
While his performance was both baffling and surprising at the same time, when put into context it actually makes sense. Although Eminem was nominated for an Oscar this year, or in the past years, the rapper took the stage to finally perform his Oscar-winning track because he never got to do it back in 2003.
Eminem himself addressed the matter in an interview with Variety saying, “I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool.”
Looking back, the hip hop superstar admitted that winning an Academy for Best Original Song wasn’t something he could even imagine. “Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win,” he said. He then added the reason behind why he missed the 2003 Oscar Awards altogether saying, “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 also figured that a fancy-schmancy event Awards Show would appreciate a rap performance. “And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me.”