In March 2003, “Lose Yourself” became the first rap song to ever win the Academy Award for best original song. Producer/songwriter Jeff Bass worked with Eminem for months to create the enduring classic.
“We started “Lose Yourself” in September ’01, and it came out in ’02. So it took about a year, back-and-forth, to complete,” Bass told Billboard. “A lot the music was completed but the vocals and the words weren’t 100 percent completed by that time. I’d say it took about a year to really develop that song.”
Part the production team Bass Brothers, with his sibling Mark, Bass’ had a long and fruitful collaboration with Em. He produced songs on Marshall Mathers LP. He also worked on the Slim Shady LP, providing his voice and productions skills to the skits “Public Service Announcement,” “Soap Skit” and “Lounge Skit.” But he never expected “Lose Yourself” to become a cultural phenomenon.
“The only thing that we noticed, honestly, is that the track felt so good. We didn’t know why it felt so good, but it was something that felt good to us,” Bass said. “It wasn’t until he got the script for the movie 8 Mile] where he came up with the lyrics and everything. It just came together.
“But something about the mode the music really touched us. We kept pulling it out the computer every so ten to revisit it, to see if it could spark anything in us. We loved the track.”
Bass believes his work with Eminem helped break the color barrier in hip hop. Today, his Oscar sits with his Grammy trophies in his home studio.