Of all the sentences I never imagined myself writing, “Barack Obama does a dramatic reading of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself‘” would rank pretty high on the list — if I had one, that is. And yet, it’s the one I find myself still not quite believing I did write, so I have to write it again.
Former President of the United States of America Barack Obama — the first Black President in the nation’s 250-year history — did a dramatic reading of Detroit rap star Eminem’s 2002 record-breaking, 8 Mile soundtrack hit “Lose Yourself.” Here it is. Gaze upon it in wonder.
It’s okay if you need to take a minute after watching that. Because you should. If ever there were two polar opposite personalities in this wild world of ours, they would definitely be Barack Obama and Marshall Mathers. The cool-headed, measured former Head of State of the US and the foul-mouthed rap rebel certainly don’t seem like they have much in common. To be fair, it’s only the intro, but it implies that there’s more to come, and the mind reels at the possibilities
But the unifying element in this connection is the fact that Barack Obama used the song during his 2008 presidential campaign. As he explains in the video above, it helped him get hype as its underdog story was one he could relate to as a one-term Senator running for the highest office in the land. Especially as a Black man in a very, very whitewashed arena (Joe Biden’s using the song now). There are some pretty obvious analogs here, but the important thing is:
Barack Obama did a dramatic reading of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and it is glorious.
Watch it above.