'Lose Yourself' In The Song Of The Year

When "8 Mile" hit theaters in mid-November, it was lauded by critics, some of whom said Eminem might actually earn an Oscar nomination for his work.

I agree that Eminem has a good shot at earning an Oscar nomination this year, but it's not for his work playing Jimmy Smith, Jr. in what basically amounted to his life story. His real shot falls with the theme to "8 Mile," "Lose Yourself" which is, in my estimation, the 2002 Song of the Year.

Eminem has had some good songs int he past, and even earned a Record of the Year nomination for "Stan," but nothing had the ultimate crossover appeal of "Lose Yourself," which captured the feelings of a generation.

Just sit back and listen to the lyrics in your head:
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti / He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready / to drops bombs, but he keeps on forgetting / what he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud / He opens his mouth but the words won't come out / He's chokin, how? Everybody's jokin now / The clock's run out, time's up, over - BLAOW!
The song has the perfect setup for the perfect audience. Everyone, even the most successful people, have had a time when everything was laid out in front of them, but they just couldn't take the first step to taking a chance.
Snap back to reality, OHH - there goes gravity / OHH - there goes Rabbit, he choked / He's so mad, but he won't / Give up that easy nope, he won't have it
There's a reason "Rocky" was one of the most successful sports movies, and movies in general, of all time: Americans love underdogs, and even more, they love underdogs who don't know when they're beat and just won't give up. Remember the scene in "Rocky" where Micky is telling Rocky to stay down, but he gets up and keeps fighting, eventually turning the tide in his favor?

That's what "Lose Yourself" is, in song form.
You better - lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go (go) / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
But what makes "Lose Yourself" transcend from just being a good song, a great one, to song of the year? Well, there are a few other contenders. P Diddy and Fabolous were good on "Trade it All (Part II)" and the song made you dance, but it doesn't stand out from other similar songs. Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" got a lot of pub, but it's already forgotten. Avril Lavigne's duo of "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi" were the catalyst for a rock revolution, but strip away the guitars and you basically have a teen pop song.

Then there's "Lose Yourself." Everyone can enjoy it. Rock fans like the hardness of it. Rap fans like the quick flowing lyrics. Pop fans like the mainstream themes and the same things they've always liked from Eminem.

Plus, the song has amazing live appeal, can get any crowd fired up, and goes perfectly with sports highlights. "SportsCenter" has used it for year-end packages, and with all the recent NFL nothing-to-champion turnarounds, don't the song's lyrics fit perfectly?
has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail I've got / to formulate a plot, or end up in jail or shot / Success is my only motherfuckin option, failure's not / Mom I love you but this trailer's got to go / I cannot grow old in Salem's Lot / So here I go it's my shot, feet fail me not / This may be the only opportunity that I got
When you put it all together, you get a song that'll be playing all over the place for years to come. And what other song from 2002 can claim that distinction?