It has been years since I heard an Eminem song that got me excited again and got me wanting to review it immediately. I speak of Eminem’s latest offering “Berzerk” from his highly anticipated upcoming studio-release ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2.’
Eminem’s lyrical flow in “Berzerk” is off the charts–he is shooting off his words as if he was in a different time zone. The production focuses on a heavy beat and it delivers big time to the listener.
“Berzerk” samples a few lines and also, most notably the guitar riff of the “The Stroke” from Billy Squir. The way legendary producer Rick Rubin incorporated and mixed in portions of the latter song not only put the much needed emphasis on the heaviness of “Berzerk” but it provided the whole nostalgic “throw-back feel” to it as well.
Strikingly, Eminem mentions iconic Hip-Hop artists like The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and MC Ren of N.W.A. in “Berzerk” and thus, he pays homage to them. He then makes an above-face, and takes quick verbal jabs at other current Hip-Hop artists like Timbaland and Birdman. He also makes fun of Khloe Kardashian who he refers to as the “the ugly Kardashian” , and of Lamar Odom’s current predicament with alleged substance abuse.
It would seem that we have “the Eminem of old” back again. There is his patent pointed play on words and his in-your-face commentary that ridicules celebrities, athletes, and anyone else within his peripheral vision which delivery we haven’t heard this well-executed since the Eminem of the early 2000’s. He is brash, cocky and he has that swagger about him that screams his alter ego Slim Shady is in full control again!
Eminem may have been holding back all his frustrations in his previous studio-release ‘Recovery’ and just maybe, his latest single “Berzerk” is his release from being cooked-up having worked with other artists he apparently didn’t like and having had to adjust his rapping style then in order to fit in more with changing times and tastes.
The “sleeping giant” has awakened from his slumber and is making up for lost time. Indeed, Eminem has gone totally berserk by reverting back to his original style and he shows us again the depth of his talent. Which is why he is still one of the very best there is today in Hip-Hop!
Only music aficionados like myself who were well aware of the earliest works of Eminem and had actually purchased those CD’s–and still have them–can truly understand just how truly epic “Berzerk” is ! We can enumerate some of the reasons why this is so. It is raw. It sounds like it was being played off of a boom box. The bass is pounding and the sampled guitar riff just gets under your skin.
Beyond comparisons to his earliest works, “Berzerk” serves as a breath of fresh air to the somewhat already bland state of current mainstream Hip-Hop. This could kick off a whole new trend that would get other Hip-Hop artists to emulate Eminem’s back-to- basics approach!
Welcome back, Slim Shady! It has been a long time.