A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What 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.
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- 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.
Talk to your kids 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?