Eminem teamed with Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre for his new single “Berzerk,” and went old-school. As in retro beats, retro jokes. Who would have thought, with Rubin…
This rowdy rock-based handle flyer starts with cadence and a sample from Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere”: “Now this sh*t’s about to kick off, this party looks wack / Let’s take it back to straight hip-hop and start it from scratch.” Cute, Em, now let’s really get to our first maxi pad joke.
Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” makes up the guts of the beat, amplified by lung-rattling stadium bass and snare, edging off the quaint stomp-clap that could easily curb the party. But check a few of Eminem’s half-baked lines and jokes/refs so old, Neil Hamburger’s taking notes.
“So baby make just like K-Fed and let yourself go, let yourself go,” he waves at Britney.
“But girl your body’s banging, jump me in, bang – bang-bang / Yessiree Bob I was thinking the same thing,” he limps.
“The art of the MCing mixed with da Vinci and MC Ren / And I don’t mean Stimpy’s friend, bitch.” I just…
“So come get on this Kid”s rock, bawitdaba dang dang / P-p-p pow pow chicka chicka wow wow”: pop goes 1999 and 2010.
He keeps it fresh enough to hat tip to Kendrick Lamar (who name-dropped Eminem in his Big Sean collab “Control” only two weeks ago) and to poke fun at Future and the rapper’s affinity for codeine. Where jabbing at Madonna and Jessica Simpson a few years ago felt edgy, he’s used his signature bile to pile on a Kardashian sister — when we’ve already done that for him: “They say that love is powerful as cough syrup and Styrofoam / All I know is I fell asleep and woke up in that Monte Carlo / With the ugly Kardashian / Lamar, oh sorry yo, we done both set the bar low.” Maybe Kanye West’s eyebrow just raised, but no other cause for alarm: doesn’t he know the current target it Miley Cyrus?
You’re best keeping the chorus on repeat. Rapping with rock is back and up-to-date with this sound, even if Eminem has to catch up with himself.
“Berzerk” is the first song to arrive from “The Marshall Mathers LP 2, ” Eminem’s new album due on Nov. 5. His last solo album “Recovery” came out in June 2010; he followed-up with Bad Meets Evil’s “Hell: The Sequel” — his collab with Royce da 5’9″ — in June 2011.
What do you think? Was it worth the wait?