"Berzerk" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Berzerk" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Slim Shady roars back with rhymes, disses, and profanity.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 21 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlexandre M. December 28, 2017


I am a damn hard Eminem fan and this like the song monster is one of his worst even though it is a good rap song it is not good for eminem.The song is fine for... Continue reading
Adult Written byalex m. December 11, 2017
The song is fine and is ok for kids 10 and up.
Teen, 16 years old Written byKingturnip26 April 11, 2014

Great song

Great song, but If u think your child cannot handle it, get the clean version. Why even bother write age reviews for music? The clean version solves everything.
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 repeate... Continue reading

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?

Music details

  • Artist: Eminem
  • Release date: August 27, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Shady Records
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate