"I Need a Doctor" (CD single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"I Need a Doctor" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Some swearing, but not as violent as other rap songs.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 34 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This song offers a positive message about trying to help and support a struggling friend.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mixed; this song celebrates supporting friends, but neither Dr. Dre nor Eminem would be considered a typically positive role model.


A fair amount of profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," and homosexual slurs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "I Need a Doctor" is a bit less mature than the typical rap song, containing no violence, sexual references, or allusions to substance use. That said, it does have a solid helping of swear words (including "f--k"), which parents won't want their younger kids to hear.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlexandre M. December 28, 2017
The song is great even though the chorus is kind of bad.The song is fine for a mature 10 and a normal 11 years old.
Adult Written byHorro November 5, 2017
The song is great man but the chorus is kind of annoying.Overall good song and fine for kids 9 and up.
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 August 28, 2018

Oh, come on already

This song really, really, really, really, really, REALLY sucks. Eminem and Dr Dre both lack the lyrical wit and hilarity that made the fantastic (though way mor... Continue reading

What's the story?

I NEED A DOCTOR is the second single off what rapper Dr. Dre has said will be his final album, Detox. The song is told mostly from the point of view of Dre protege Eminem, who attempts to help his mentor through hard times by imploring Dre to believe in himself: "See this light in you? It's dark / Let me turn on the lights and brighten me and enlighten you."

Is it any good?

Combine two of the biggest rappers of all time and throw in haunting guest vocals from Skylar Gray, and you have the recipe for a hit song. Eminem's delivery is as breathtaking as ever, and Dre's powerful rhymes demonstrate how he earned his rep. Against an arrestingly methodical beat, these performances linger in your thoughts long after they're over.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's a good idea for an artist to use a song to get a very personal message across, as Eminem does here. 

  • This song is less violent than most rap songs; does the lack of intense imagery make the song stronger?

  • Is the profanity necessary? Why does so much rap music contain graphic language?

Music details

  • Artists: Dr. Dre, Eminem
  • Release date: January 25, 2011
  • Label: Aftermath
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: July 27, 2015

Our editors recommend

For kids who love hip-hop

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