On this day, exactly 18 years ago (March 23, 2003), Eminem became the first rapper in history to win an Academy Award. Slim Shady won an Oscar for Best Original song in 8 Mile movie for “Lose Yourself” but he was not present to accept the award.
Eminem later on explained why he didn’t attend the ceremony: “Actually, I was sleeping that night. I just felt like I had no chance of winning because, you know, when I heard I was nominated, I thought that was for actors… I was not sure what exactly Grammy or Oscar meant, what a certain award meant, I was not sure what they meant, so even MTV awards, all that stuff, I just didn’t know what awards meant and this particular award…I didn’t go to the show… I just felt like I had a snowballs chance of…I think I got it confused when they said about Oscar. They were talking about the song but I was like ‘ye but isn’t there other movies that got rock songs and stuff like that’ ? At that point, in my life I always thought like rap never gets as fair shake on anything. That was one of the reasons I didn’t go for the first Grammys I was invited to, because I pretty much protested it. I didn’t understand why there was a rap category and best album category and I couldn’t understand why rap album can not be in the best album category.”
Watch it below:
There are only three hip-hop acts in history who have won an Oscar: Eminem for “Lose Yourself” (2003), Three-6 Mafia for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” (2006) and Common for “Glory,” featuring John Legend (2015).