The film is an account of a young white rapper named Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem) growing up in a poor area of 1995 Detroit as he struggles for respect among his (mostly African-American) peers. Contrary to popular belief, this movie does not detail Eminem's life growing up in Detroit, but instead, the average life of a rapper in Detroit, as stated by Eminem in interviews about the movie. Despite this, the movie is considered to be semi-autobiographical.
The film was a critical and financial success. Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself".