Eminem Explained His Surprise Oscars Performance
Last night's unexpected Eminem performance set the stage for some of the most meme-worthy moments from the Academy Awards, but until now, nobody knew how the whole thing came together. In a new interview with Variety, Eminem says that a few pieces fit together for him to be able to come to the show and perform the Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself" 17 years after he missed out on accepting his trophy.
For one, 8 Mile was already in a video montage, so that part was already taken care of. Next, the show happened to coincide with the release of his latest album, Music to Be Murdered By. Plus, Eminem adds, the release of that album was a surprise, too. Things just happened to work out.
He went on to explain that part of why he didn't perform back in 2003 was because he'd just done the song at the Grammy awards that year. Plus, he didn't really feel like the show "understood" him. At the time, there were rumors of him refusing to do the show because producers demanded that he take out the curse words. He said that wasn't true, since the song doesn't even have that many. He added that the fact that he wasn't there to receive the award and still won it adds a sense of authenticity to the whole experience.
"I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool. 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. And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me," he explained. "But then when I found out I won, 'That’s crazy!' That to me shows how authentic and real that award is — when you don’t show up and you still win. That makes it very real to me."
And about the secrecy, Eminem said that everything was undercover, from the rehearsals to the last-minute surprise. He noted that he wasn't sure whose idea it was to keep everything under wraps, but in the end, he liked that the whole thing was unexpected.
"We flew in [to Los Angeles] last week, so we probably have four or five rehearsals just to make sure we got everything right. Most of the rehearsals were offsite, not in [the Dolby Theater], just trying to keep it secret," he added. "I don’t know, I think it was either [the Oscars’] idea or Paul and [longtime publicist Dennis Dennehy’s] idea before they brought it to me. It was presented to me that way and I said, “Oh that’s kinda dope, to not even announce it."