Eminem performed during Sunday’s Oscars, 17 years after he won Best Song for “Lose Yourself”.
The surprise performance was tightly guarded with the Dolby Theatre on lockdown during rehearsals and the rapper had the option to cancel if news leaked.
It didn’t and he pulled off the surprise, much to the delight of some and confusion of others.
“I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool,” he said when asked by Variety about his return.
“Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed ‘Lose Yourself’ on the Grammys with the Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn’t think it was a good idea,” he added. “And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me.”
“I don’t know that I was disappointed,” he said of missing the ceremony. “I was blown back by the fact that I won. I don’t even think I understood back then that you could get an Oscar for a song, and I remember being kinda confused about why I was even up for one, because as a kid with the Oscars, it was like a vacuum.”
And even though it took 17 years to get there, it was all worth it.
“I got to hug Salma Hayek!” he added.
Barbra Streisand, who presented the award all those years ago, reacted to Eminem’s performance after he tweeted:
Streisand then posted: