There are many stories behind Kasey Chambers’ cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” … but you can look all that up if you are so inclined. Which I imagine you might be after you watch the above clip. Australia’s mega-star Kasey Chambers’ cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is one of his greatest accomplishments and it call it a “hit” doesn’t even begin to describe where that song has gone, how far it has traveled. The song came out in 2002. 20 years ago. That’s wild. Now it’s hard to imagine the world without it. Like, it’s here now. A high watermark of hip hop (or one of them), maybe the most well-known hip hop song of all time. Teenagers in Bangladesh know it by heart. Kids who weren’t even alive when it came out. (Just out of curiosity, I went back to the very beginning of my blog – I started in October, 2022. 8 Mile premiered on November 8. So I spent a lot of incoherent time ranting about Eminem – in the leadup to 8 Mile and the aftermath. This was before I had a real audience, so I was ranting to myself. The funny thing is I’m STILL – to this day – ranting about Eminem … I mean, it’s endless … including seeing him in concert and then … this lockdown-monster (writing that helped me get through the very difficult summer of 2020) and I started OUT with him. I am nothing if not consistent! It’s annoyed some people. Why are you posting so much about that nasty mean misogynistic man? Because I want to? I know. It’s difficult to grasp.) The song speaks the struggles and pain, the unfairness of financial inequality, financial instability, the cycle of poverty, the fear of not being able to take care of your family, the desperate unrealistic dreams, and etc., so many people understand all of these things. Eminem talks about very specific things but ultimately the song is universal. It’s a hell of a motivational song, and Eminem can be a petty brat (I love petty Eminem), but he can also hold out his hand to his audience and say, “If I did it, you can too. But you gotta WANT it. So WANT IT.”
It comes from him, from his soul. Which is why it’s so wild and goosebump-worthy to see someone else take it, re-shape it (but you’ll notice she maintains his rhythm and cadence, punching the same words – albeit in different ways), and totally own it. Like, it’s hers now. The opening part was captivating, I enjoyed the innovation of it but then – at a certain moment – “the mood all changed”, and she drops IN, and my hair was blown back.
A coda: Eminem has clearly heard this – but not only that, he graciously gave Kasey Chambers permission to upload her version to Spotify. That’s really saying something.