"3 a.m." (CD single) Music Poster Image

"3 a.m." (CD single)



Ultra-violent single glorifies sociopathic impulses.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The song is like a horror film set to hip-hop beats. The sociopathic, murderous tirade goes far beyond social misbehavior.


The song is a diatribe glorifying evil and violence. The video is awash in blood and victims -- and the vast majority of them are young women. The chorus sums things up: "It's 3 a.m. in the morning, put my key in the door, bodies laying all over the floor and I don't remember how they got there, but I guess I must've killed 'em, killed 'em."


A warped sensibility permeates the song, as in the lyrics where Eminem talks about masturbating while watching Hannah Montana.


Although there are very few profanities, the violent lyrics go into such detail they are profane without the use of any four-letter words."I wrapped him in Christmas lights, pushed him in the stinking tub, cut him up into pieces and just when I went to drink his blood, I thought I outta drink his bathwater, that outta be fun."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Abusing prescription drugs is the least of a listener's concerns on this single, however Eminem does rap casually about "Swallowing a calotapin while I'm not in and out of ionamin," referencing a cocktail of "uppers" and "downers."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this song is full of grotesque, unapologetically violent lyrics about murderous, sociopathic impulses. The video is full of ultra-violent scenes of blood, gore, and murder -- Eminem is seen in a bathtub filled with "blood" and standing over the bloodied corpses of dead (mostly female) victims.

What's the story?

On the single "3 a.m.," from Eminem's latest album Relapse, the rapper portrays a serial killer recounting his violent and twisted history. The single is quite darker than the album's other releases up to this point, with quotes from the Silence of the Lambs even incorporated into the lyrical confessions. The single definitely qualifies itself for a place in the "horrorcore" genre of hip-hop, where rappers attempt to create a musical version of horror fiction.

Is it any good?


It's easy to bash Eminem for glorifying heinous, brutal acts on this single. But the real problem here is: What's the point of this song? If it's intended as an examination of the criminal mind, it misses. It just comes off a violent song whose imagery is played only for shock value. The song loses all hope for redemption with its weak writing, exhibited in such unoriginal, repetitive lines as "...there is the coroner, waiting for you to turn the corner so he could corner ya, you're a goner, he's on to ya, out the corner of his cornea."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Eminem uses his alter-ego, Slim Shady as a mechanism for bad, down-right deplorable behavior. Do you think the rapper is playing a character when he celebrates killing people? What effect do you think this single will have on listeners? Talk to kids about the messages in the music.

Music details

Release date:April 28, 2009
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "3 a.m." (CD single) was written by

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old February 16, 2011

overall good song but VERY VIOLENT

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheProdigy November 17, 2015


THIS SONG IS HORRIBLE!!!! It is all about murder!!!! buy tha clan verzion 4 ur kid!!!
Teen, 17 years old Written byyobro November 16, 2012

slim shady

i love eminem its a great song a little violent. i thouht it was fine.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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