Hell Breaks Loose (CD single)

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Hell Breaks Loose (CD single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
A kinder, gentler Slim Shady. Still, not OK for kids/tweens.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Women aren't given the most respect, and the rappers brag about how great they are.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Drinking, smoking, and disrespecting women are shown to be things that make someone cool and macho.


Far less violent imagery than many Eminem songs. Only posturing from lines like, "We'll knock that stuffing out of you."


Although there's really no talk of sex, there are a few disparaging comments directed at women. Besides referencing the word "ho," the rap include the lines "ladies won't ya fill your cups, if you're a D or a C cup" and "yeah girl, shake that caboose."


"S--t" is spoken a few times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"Grey Goose" vodka is mentioned along with several references to marijuana, like "you better lay off the blunts, you must be smoking something," and "a mongoose when it comes to the chronic use."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they can breathe a slight sigh of relief at the release of this single. It doesn't have any of the twisted, violent imagery found on Eminem's recent albums, and it includes only a few bad words. That said, it's still not for kids or tweens, and even young teens probably aren't ready for the jokes about smoking pot, misogynistic lyrics, and references to drinking. Also, be warned: this single is found on Em's re-release, an album that's full of inappropriate content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHorro November 5, 2017
Don’t get me wrong eminem is my favorite artist but this is just sad and dr dre just does not work with the fast music.And the song is okay for 10 and up.
Adult Written byAwesomeness142 February 26, 2015

Ok song

Not his best
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byBig Fan June 3, 2018

Great song, but not quite for kids or younger teens

I think this is a great song. Dr. Dre fits in nicely. But it is still best for older teens. The song isn't really that dark or bloody, but there are some v... Continue reading

What's the story?

Having hit the top ten on the iTunes singles' chart, HELL BREAKS LOOSE is one of the first releases from the album Relapse: Refill, a re-release of the 2009 album Relapse, plus seven bonus tracks. This single features Dr.Dre playing a prominent role in the rap verses, as the duo enjoys verbal sport with each other on this rather light pop-rap.

Is it any good?

This track offers up a few improvements from Marshall Mathers. First, there are no depraved lyrics about murdering women and debasing them with violent sexuality. That's a good thing! Also, the lyrics actually show Em and Dre having fun with each other, something that we haven't seen in a while. Showing off their lyrical skills, the pair plays off each other's rhymes, rather than wallowing in self-absorbed lines. The song doesn't cover any new ground for the veteran rapper, though, with few verses that will make the listener say, "Wow! How does he think up these lines?" Overall, if your teen insists on listening to Eminem, this is the least offensive choice you will find.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about drug references in music. What should families know about slang terms for drugs, and what code words should they be aware of? Why do you think drugs often have nicknames? Is it to keep outsiders from knowing what you're talking about, or parents from finding out?

  • Talk about rap music that uses derogatory terms about women. How do you think these references make girls feel about themselves? And how does this attitude influence boys, who are just forming romantic relationships? Do you think you can treat women with respect if you call them objectifying names?

  • Why do you think Eminem makes some songs that are significantly less violent and misogynistic than most? Is it perhaps to get younger audiences interested in his music? Should you make your music selection by individual song or based on the track record of the artist?

Music details

  • Artist: Eminem
  • Release date: December 22, 2009
  • Label: Shady Records
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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