Skylar Grey – Last One Standing Ft. Eminem, Polo G, Mozzy (Venom OST) | Lyrics Meaning Explained
Marvel’s first Venom movie was released in 2018 and it was a massive success. On the official movie soundtrack was an Eminem contribution of the same title. It almost feels as if the song was in a class of its own. It was only a matter of time when Marvel came up with a sequel to the movie and an Eminem contribution was inevitable.
The 2021 Venom: Let There Be Carnage movie was announced and everybody was looking forward to the announcement of a new Eminem song for the movie soundtrack. Although we are not getting a full Eminem song, we are getting the next best thing — a feature on a Skylar Grey track. Even better is that on the track are other rappers Polo G and Mozzy. This massive collaboration is titled “Last One Standing.”
By the title of the song, we can foresee another inspirational track in the works. However, this one is not going to be anything timid. It is going to be full of carnage.
Watch the “Last One Standing” Snippet by Skylar Grey, Eminem, Polo G, & Mozzy
Skylar Grey “Last One Standing” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Skylar Grey hits us with a hook that is deeply motivational. She talks about how everyone sees the glory, but they never see the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that fueled the glory. Usually, the blood, sweat, and tears are hidden behind the scenes. This is true for most cases, even something that we may conceive as easy as making a new song. There are days of work that go behind the scenes to put out a song that runs for three minutes.
But the good thing about those hardships is that they build up for success. Failure is just another day of work. You don’t fail until you give up. So, grind today and tomorrow may be the start of your glory day.
The first verse by Polo G is on point with the theme of the song. He starts off by talking about all the fake snakes who start to come out of their hiding when someone finally makes it. They were nowhere to be seen when Polo G was struggling out on the streets. Now Polo G has the spotlight in the music industry and suddenly there are more strangers around him.
Polo G goes on to flex his wealth right now. He boasts about his custom Audemars Piguet luxury Swiss wristwatch. He also talks about taking private jet rides when he wants to travel places.
The Chicago rapper also pays homage to Chicago Bulls NBA player Bill Cartwright, who is placed among the best of the best basketball has seen.
Took a million risks just to get to this
‘Cause we ain’t the ones that the cops likе (Oh)
Polo G reminisces how disadvantageous he was from the start. This line is a direct reference to the police brutality against minority races in the USA. He could have easily ended up in jail or worse just trying to make a living in the streets. He was fortunate. Many were not.
Towards the latter part of the verse, Polo G talks about something Skylar Grey touched on in the hook. Polo G says the people only see the successes — the right decisions he made. It is not as if his life has all been straight wins. The losses in life definitely outnumber the wins for anyone. However, nobody is around you to help you through the Ls. Polo G bites into the Ls and keeps on keeping on.
No days off, grind faithfully
There are no vacation days until you reach your dreams!
The second verse is by Mozzy. He talks about the come-up from eating up Ls upon Ls and then turning his game around.
It was hella times where I failed
When I had to double back from them Ls
Eminem goes last.
The first few sentences on Eminem’s verse are dedicated to addressing people who say Eminem has changed over the years. Of course, people change. However, the millions of dollars in his bank account has not changed Eminem at all. If anything, Eminem is the one rapper who does not dedicate entire songs to singing about money, bling, diamonds, and more bling.
Eminem cannot stop playing with words. Even while sending this important message, Em plays on the words ‘bread,’ which is slang for money, and ‘sourdough,’ which is a form of bread but also sounds like ‘sour thought.’ Eminem has always had a ‘sour-looking’ rap personality.
Next, Eminem mentions the legendary Rocky Balboa character from the Rocky movie series, famously played by Sylvester Stallone. The movie series themselves were the saving grace for Sylvester Stallone who was at the brink of giving up on his life itself. In the movie, Stallone plays the character of Rocky Balboa who is a boxer who comes up from nothing to the ultimate heights. Throwing a towel is a reference to giving up. Much like Rocky did not give up on his dream in real life, and his fights in the movie, Eminem has no concept of what giving up is.
Not to mention, I learned
How to turn resentment and hurt
To an unquenchable thirst
Eminem talks about the hate received since day one. And even before he had a music career, he was hated in his personal life. He had a complicated relationship with his mother, he knew no father, and he got bullied at school. Fortunately for him, he found an outlet for his anger and frustration. He kept at it until the world accepted him for who he is. Eminem calls it a revenge of a nerd — a nerd who dedicated his nerdiness to lyrics and rap.
Eminem touches base with what Skylar Grey sings on the hook. He says that no one really sees the amount of effort he put into these lyrics. Eminem is no mumble rapper, Eminem is no mediocre rapper even. He continues to push his pen game up and this must take a lot of effort, time, and energy. But all we see are the millions of streams, dollars, and fans he gets. We sometimes fail to make the connection that there has been an unspeakable amount of hard work behind all he is enjoying now.
A word once said cannot be taken back no matter what. Eminem himself regretted talking about his mother on his iconic track “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.” He made amends in a later song “Highlights,” but “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” cannot be undone now. Much like this, any hate that his critics spew at him, cannot be undone or unseen. He has to live through it, and learn to heal with time. Eminem brings in the 9/11 terrorist attack to compare how it feels to be crushed over and over again.
Eminem says that if the world wants to paint you in the light of a villain, just let them. There is no fighting against the Internet. The more you resist, the harder it pushes. The best thing to do is stop caring what everyone has to say. Eminem did this a long time back, and he has been quite happy since.
Now all of this hate is a syndrome
When they can’t relate, and that stems from (What?)
When people don’t relate to someone, they start talking against him. They could also just not pay attention to someone to who they don’t relate to. But of course, they don’t do that. Especially, when it comes to money, a lot of artists should be jealous of Eminem’s money. And Eminem still has not stopped. We have heard artists talking about how Eminem is occupying “space” in this hip-hop game, as if there was limited space in the music industry.
Again, everybody only sees the millions Eminem rakes in. They either fail to see or choose to ignore the hard work it took to come to this place.
Eminem says that he sacrificed countless things to get to this level. He sacrificed his family in a sense for his career. Although Eminem seemed to have made amends now, he had a very distant relationship with his daughters, too. He won the hearts of millions around the world. But in the process, he lost some of the people that mattered to him the most. This is the actual cost of the fame he ‘enjoys’ now.
Just follow me, and I’ll light the way
Look to the hook if your sky look grey (Skylar Grey)
Eminem takes his shoutout to Skylar Grey a step further. We never realized that Skylar Grey sounds a bit like ‘sky look grey.’ A grey sky signifies dark times or bad times for a person. Eminem says that if your life seems to be getting harder, look to the hook of this song that sings “Now I’m the last one standin’.”
Eminem also takes shots at the newer school of rappers, specifically mumble rappers who destroy the craft of the rap game. He calls them clowns because their music is a joke. So, when Eminem looks down now, all he sees is clouds, because he is so far up above the industry, he is in the sky.
Ever since I put out the EP to the height of 2003 me
You ain’t see the struggle to make it out the D
Finally, Eminem reminds us of the extreme level of success he had from his ‘Slim Shady EP’ from 1997 to ‘The Eminem Show’ from 2002. Eminem went on to win an Oscar Award for “Lose Yourself” in 2003. These years were the absolute heights of his career as a mainstream artist (now he is just a legendary status). The album that followed ‘Encore’ from 2004 was considered by some as the album that started Eminem’s decline (we would so disagree with this). However, it makes sense that Eminem considers the period between 1997 to 2003 as the golden days of his career. He says this to bring up the point that nobody still saw the struggles he went through during these times because he made it look easy. There are numerous stories of how Eminem sits down with a beat for about an hour or two and have come up with some killer lyrics. This is purely his talent.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.