Song: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Reached #1: November 9, 2002 (his first, 12 weeks)
Marshall Mathers’ career really boils down to one question.
Is he a white rapper or a white rapper?
I have to say that I’m not a big rap fan, so I don’t know the scene. I don’t know if Eminem is accepted, tolerated, or hated.
I just find it curious that the most decorated artist in rap and hip-hop isn’t in the primary demographic for it – specifically, he’s a white guy who’s more culturally acceptable to the power brokers in his business.
He has 13 Grammys including Best Rap Album for each of his first three (nobody else has three straight Best Rap Albums).
Those albums, by the way, say a lot about the man. They were titled The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show (the source of “Lose Yourself”). And they were huge, don’t get me wrong… but it all comes back to the same thing. Would he be as successful if he weren’t white?
“Lose Yourself” spent 12 weeks at the top, in part, because it was from the 8 Mile soundtrack – and 8 Mile was a big hit, as the semi-autobiographical movie about a kid who escapes the Detroit projects through rap struck a chord.
He’s back in the studio, working on his eighth album. You have to wonder how much more he has in him – rap has generally been a young man’s business and Marshall Mathers hit 40 earlier this year.
Tomorrow, West Coast rockers fly high… again…
Other songs that reached #1 on November 9:
1974 – “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (their first, 1 week)
1985 – “Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer (his first, 1 week)
1991 – “Cream” by Prince & the N.P.G. (his fifth, 2 weeks)
1996 – “No Diggity” by BLACKstreet feat. Dr. Dre (his first, 4 weeks)