How crazy is it that one of Eminem’s best-known and most successful songs of all time was recorded in one take, during his lunch break while filming 8 Mile.
According to Em, while they were shooting 8 Mile, he was digging through old CDs and found the “Lose Yourself” demo session which only had guitar chords laid down by longtime collaborator, Jeff Bass.
“I was just like ‘Yo, that section, right there, I gotta make a beat out of that,'” he recalled. “I recorded the demo version of it the same day I made the beat. I didn’t like the rhyme, and put it off to the side.”
“But it’s one of those beats I never gave up on. That beat was definitely a highlight of my producing. I ended up doing the new version on the set of the movie, just writing between takes.”
The film’s director, Curtis Hanson, was encouraging Em to make music specifically for the movie, so he started working on “Lose Yourself” again.
Eminem: We were on lunch break, and I needed to finish the track. I don’t think it was one take all the way down, but it was one take each verse. “Got the first verse, okay, punch me in at the second. OK, the whole third verse.” For some reason, I just captured something there that I didn’t want to change. I remember trying to change it and go back and re-do the vocals, and I was like “Yo, let me listen to the old ones? Just keep the old ones, fuck it.”Eminem – Lose Yourself | Genius
“Lose Yourself” ended up becoming a phenomenal success, bigger than anything Eminem had released previously, and was his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single. It also became the first hip hop song to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.