“Not Afraid” is a song by the American rapper Eminem from his seventh studio album, Recovery (2010). It was released as the album’s lead single on April 29, 2010, by Interscope Records. “Not Afraid” was first revealed as a single by Eminem via Twitter, after which the song debuted on radio. To promote the single’s release, a freestyle rap, “Despicable”, was released on the Internet and received attention for its tone and lyrical content.
The song was written and produced by Eminem, Boi-1da, Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett; keyboardist Luis Resto was also attributed with songwriting credit. According to Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg and music critics, “Not Afraid” carries a positive message and depicts Eminem’s change in direction from drugs and violence. Recording sessions took place at Effigy Studios in Michigan, Encore Studios in California and Boi-1da Studios in Ontario. Brothers Mike and Joe Strange worked with Eminem on mixing and engineering. The hip hop song features a choir that assists Eminem in a heavily layered chorus and vocals are sung over a guitar, synthesizer and piano; no Auto-Tune was used on the sung vocals, but many reverberation tools were.