"Berzerk" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

Slim Shady roars back with rhymes, disses, and profanity.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Boastful wordplay is mostly about making fun of celebrities, often in a mean-spirited way, including a line about "The ugly Kardashian."

Positive role models

Em has never been much of a role model, and he continues to ruffle feathers and make dirty jokes.


Some aggressive bragging is used, mostly for the sake of rhymes, including a threat to "knock Future into tomorrow" (Future is a popular contemporary rapper).


A few sexual references, including "Baby make like K-Fed," classifying a girl as a "swallow," and "girl your body's banging, jump me in, gang-bang, bang." 


A fair amount of profanity, including the words "s--t," "bitch," "f--k," and the lewd line "my pen needs a pad cuz my rhymes on the rag." 


Though Eminem is usually mocking other rappers when he drops brand names into his lyrics, the track does include mentions of Monte Carlo, Nike shoes, Kangols, and Carhartt clothes. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to codeine and cough syrup as a party drug (also known as lean), though Em is allegedly drug-free these days.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Eminem's single "Berzerk" is a return to the provocative wordplay and celebrity-skewering that made Slim Shady a superstar. Though the production has a vintage '80s house party/Beastie Boys-esque sound, the lyrics are classic Marshall Mathers: dissing other rappers and pop stars, rapid-fire rhymes, and a silly sung chorus. Know that there is a lot of profanity ("s--t," "bitch," "f--k"), mentions of drugs, and sexual references.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

"BERZERK" is the first single from the forthcoming Eminem album Marshall Mathers LP 2, the long-awaited sequel to his eponymous breakthrough. The track debuted in a series of commercials during the broadcast of the MTV Video Music Awards, and was digitally released shortly thereafter. The song was produced by iconic studio wizard Rick Rubin and features several samples from and nods to the so-called golden era of hip-hop.

Is it any good?


The tongue-in-cheek '80s retro feel of the track is nicely contrasted with Shady's blistering verbal assault. While fans of the "old" Eminem will be glad to see the rapper having fun again, those who dislike his brash and nasty style will be none too pleased. The hooks and choruses are slightly odd and annoying, but it's impossible to deny the man's linguistic abilities.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this single's sound. How does "Berzerk" compare to other Eminem releases from the past several years? 

  • Though he has continued to be incredibly successful commercially, many critics and fans have turned their backs on Eminem in recent years. Why do you think he has been the target of so much negativity throughout his career?

  • Though the song appears to be mocking the Beastie Boys' retro sound, the track was produced by the man who developed that style, super-producer Rick Rubin. What do you think of this self-parody?

Music details

Release date:August 27, 2013
Label:Shady Records
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "Berzerk" (CD Single) was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old September 9, 2013


Hello! This song sounds fun, It's a party song. I have the entire song memorised, because I have been an em fan since 06'. If you let your kids listen to ANY few songs, nothing is new. PEOPLE! IT'S A SONG! It's pretty short. If you listen INSIDE the lyrics, obviously CSM HASN'T... "It's like my addiction/I'm about to kick it" There is swearing, but your kid, if he's over 10, I will GUARANTEE he's heard it all before. Let your kid buy it. relax. it's not at all bad enough for your kid to copy, but if he does, tell him what's up
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bymusicforver September 24, 2013

The stereotypical Slim Shady track

Tamer than most Slim Shady tracks. Berzerk features less explicit content than you would think. The profanity includes f--k once in the chorus, which is repeated throughout the song, s--t twice, h-e once, and b---h three times. There are some drug references, but they are not necessarily negative. The references are: "Just like I did with addiction, I'm about to kick it", "They say that love is powerful as cough syrup in styrofoam", "Far as hard drugs are though, that's the past/But I done did enough codeine to knock Future into tomorrow". There is the average amount of consumerism as there is in any Slim Shady single. He is poking fun at new-school rappers because he does not like the new hip-hop. There are some vague disses and some straightforward disses aimed directly at the stars. He vaguely disses Ace Hood's "Bugatti" in the line: "All I know is I fell asleep and woke up in that Monte Carlo" as Ace Hood's single says "I woke up in the new Bugatti". He disses Kevin Federline/"K-Fed" in the line "So baby make just like K-Fed and let yourself go, let yourself go" (if you don't get it, it means let yourself go as in get loose and go crazy, but after Kevin Federline had kids he let himself go as in he gained weight), he calls Khloe Kardashian "the ugly Kardashian" and then says that both he and Lamar Odom (which married Khloe) set the bar low. He also mentions, without dissing, Kendrick Lamar, Leonardo da Vinci, MC Ren, The Ren and Stimpy Show, Public Enemy, Nike shoes, Khakis, Kid Rock, Kid Rock's song "Bawitdaba", Future, Kangol, Carharrt, Birdman and Rick Rubin. He also uses a sample from a Beastie Boys track (Fight For Your Right) and Billy Squier's The Stroke. The sexual content is not super explicit. It features the lines, "That's why my pen needs a pad cause my rhymes on the rag", "Girl, your body's banging, jump me in, dang, bang-bang", mentions waking up next to "the ugly Kardashian", and calls a girl a "swallow". The track is not extremely explicit. Note that it is all about partying and going crazy. I'd say that a 13 year should be able to handle this. Sorry for the lengthy review. But anyways, it is a fun song and I enjoy it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old September 9, 2013


Many bad words but not terrible for language
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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