"Berzerk"
Eminem - Berzerk.jpg
Single by Eminem
from the album The Marshall Mathers LP 2
ReleasedAugust 27, 2013 (2013-08-27)
GenreRap rock[1][2]
Length3:58
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Rick Rubin
Eminem singles chronology
"C'mon Let Me Ride"
(2012)
"Berzerk"
(2013)
"Survival"
(2013)
Music video
"Berzerk" on YouTube

"Berzerk" is a song by American rapper Eminem. The song, released on August 27, 2013, is the first single from Eminem's eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song was produced by Rick Rubin and samples Billy Squier's "The Stroke", as well as the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right", taken from their 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, which Rubin had also produced, and Naughty by Nature's "Feel Me Flow". The song was heavily downloaded in its first week of release, resulting in the song debuting at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Composition

Rick Rubin produced "Berzerk".
Rick Rubin produced "Berzerk".

The song, produced by Rick Rubin, samples Billy Squier's "The Stroke", the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right", taken from their 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill and also produced by Rubin, and Naughty by Nature's "Feel Me Flow".[3] Writing credits are given to Eminem, Rubin, Squier, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, and Anthony Criss, Vincent Brown, and Kier Gist of Naughty by Nature, Ziggy Modeliste, Art Neville, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli and George Porter Jr. for the "Feel Me Flow" segment.[4]

The song starts with a "blast of static, hard guitar and Em roaring out of the gate sounding like the long-lost, fourth Beastie Boy", according to Yahoo! Music critic Craig Rosen.[5] The song samples the "Kick it!" part of "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)", performed by Ad-Rock.[3][6] According to Billboard's Lars Brandle, the song is "a punchy, guitar-and-beats driven song which channels Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' I Love Rock 'n' Roll and Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys."[7]

Music video

During the halftime at the September 7, 2013 Michigan–Notre Dame football game, Eminem premiered a preview of the music video for "Berzerk". Then the video was premiered two days later on September 9, via VEVO. The video was filmed in Brooklyn, New York and directed by Syndrome.[8] It features cameo appearances from fellow American rappers Kendrick Lamar and Kid Rock[9][10] (both of whom Eminem mentions in the song's lyrics) in addition to Shady Records labelmates Slaughterhouse, Mr. Porter, Yelawolf and The Alchemist, the song's producer Rick Rubin and Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg. The video also features short clips of backyard wrestling, and public fights as well as short clips of the official music video of Billy Squier's "The Stroke", which is heavily sampled in the song.[11] The video received a nomination at MTV Video Music Awards 2014 in the category "Best Hip-Hop Video".[12]

Release and promotion

"Berzerk" originally premiered on August 26, on SiriusXM channel, Shade 45.[13] The Marshall Mathers LP 2, a sequel to Eminem's acclaimed studio effort The Marshall Mathers LP, was revealed during MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, 2013 with two previews of "Berzerk" via Beats By Dr. Dre commercials.[14] Some critics describe Eminem's return in these commercials as the highlight of the show.[5] The video that accompanied the song featured a boombox prominently.[5] The song was the featured song for the 2013 season of Saturday Night Football, debuting with the September 7 Michigan–Notre Dame football rivalry game. On 10 November 2013 in Amsterdam for the MTV Europe Music Awards 2013, he performed "Berzerk" and also "Rap God".[15]

Commercial performance

"Berzerk" sold 362,000 downloads in its first week in the US, debuting at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind Katy Perry's Roar and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines) becoming Eminem's 15th Top 10 hit on the Hot 100.[16] The song has peaked at number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[17] When the R&B component of the chart is removed, the song debuted at number one on the Rap Songs chart.[16] "Berzerk"'s debut is just below the debut of the lead single for Recovery, "Not Afraid", which sold 379,000 copies in its first week.[18] It has sold over a million copies in the US as of October 2013.[19]

In Canada, the song debuted at number two with 50,000 downloads sold, which more than doubled the 24,000 downloads sold in the debut week of "Not Afraid".[20] It was Eminem's best one week download total ever in the country, until it was surpassed by the 54,000 downloads sold for Eminem's later single, "The Monster".[21] The song was certified Double Platinum in Digital downloads in Canada on November 1, 2013.[22]

The song debuted at number one on the UK R&B Chart[23] and was replaced on the chart by his single "Rap God".[24]

Critical reception

Will Hermes of Rolling Stone gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, highlighting its goal to "celebrate old-school hip-hop".[25] Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, stating the song "harks back" to Eminem's "Slim Shady days". Copsey compared the song to Beastie Boys circa 1986, although the song as "inimitable" and "unmistakably Eminem".[26] VH1 India gave the song 8/10 concluding, "Whether you shudder under 'Berzerk's' cacophonous assault or wear its raps like an emblem — it's 2013, and Eminem still got your attention."[27]

Awards and nominations

See also: List of awards and nominations received by Eminem

Year Ceremony Award Result
2014 Grammy Awards (56th) Best Rap Performance Nominated
2014 World Music Awards Song of the Year Nominated
2014 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
2014 Detroit Music Awards Outstanding Video / Major Budget (over $10,000) Won
2014 MTV Video Music Awards Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated

Track listing

Digital download[28]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Berzerk"Rick Rubin3:58
CD release
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Berzerk" (explicit)Rick Rubin3:59
2."Berzerk" (edited)Rick Rubin3:58
Total length:7:57

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[64] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[65] 2× Platinum 160,000*
Germany (BVMI)[66] Gold 150,000double-dagger
Sweden (GLF)[67] Gold 20,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[68] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[69] 4× Platinum 4,000,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Radio and release history

Region Date Format Label
Italy[70] August 27, 2013 (2013-08-27) Contemporary hit radio Universal Music
United States[28] Digital download Shady, Aftermath, Interscope
Mainstream urban radio[71]
September 3, 2013 (2013-09-03) Contemporary hit radio[72]
United Kingdom[73] October 6, 2013 (2013-10-06) Digital download

References

  1. ^ ""Who decided that a rap-rock comeback was OK?": Initial thoughts on Eminem's bizarre Marshall Mathers LP 2 – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music". Factmag.com. September 9, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Korina Lopez (September 9, 2013). "Is Eminem's 'Berzerk' worth the wait?". Usatoday.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Berzerk (liner notes). Eminem. Aftermath. 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2016.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ "ACE Repertory – Berzerk". ASCAP. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Rosen, Craig (August 27, 2013). "Shady's Back — Eminem Goes 'Berzerk' Sampling the Beasties and Billy Squier". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Danton, Eric R. (August 27, 2013). "Eminem Goes Old-School in New Song 'Berzerk': Rapper's single samples Billy Squier, Beastie Boys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Brandle, Lars (August 26, 2013). "Eminem Goes 'Berzerk' For New Single: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  8. ^ Eminem, Explains Berzerk | Complex
  9. ^ "Eminem "Berzerk" Music Video Preview". Complex. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Eminem Takes It Back with 'Berzerk' – Video | Rolling Stone
  11. ^ Gil Kaufman (September 9, 2013). "Eminem Ropes In Detroit Homey Kid Rock For 'Berzerk' Video". MTV. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "2014 MTV Video Music Awards Nominations: Get The Full List". MTV. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  13. ^ Gleckman, Alexander (August 26, 2013). "Listen: Eminem "Berzerk" (Prod. By Rick Rubin)". Complex. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Coulehan, Erin (August 25, 2013). "Eminem Announces New Album 'MMLP2'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  15. ^ Humes, Michael (September 5, 2013). "Saturday Night Football Goes "Berzerk" with Eminem". ESPN. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Katy Perry Dethrones Robin Thicke Atop Hot 100". Billboard. September 4, 2013.
  17. ^ "Eminem – Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Eminem's 'Berzerk' Selling Strong, Heading for Big Debut". Billboard. August 30, 2013. Archived from the original on September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  19. ^ Grein, Paul. "Week Ending Oct. 6, 2013. Songs: Adele Reaches A Milestone". Yahoo. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "AVENGED SEVENFOLD SCORES FIRST NUMBER ONE ALBUM" (PDF). Retrieved September 15, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "ARCADE FIRE SCORES THIRD CHART-TOPPING ALBUM Arcade" (PDF). Retrieved November 8, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Gold Platinum Database: Eminem – Berzerk". Music Canada. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  23. ^ "2013-10-19 Top 40 R&B Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. October 19, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  24. ^ "2013-10-26 Top 40 R&B Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. October 26, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  25. ^ "Eminem's "Berzerk" review on Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. September 10, 2013. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013.
  26. ^ "Eminem: 'Berzerk' – Single review – Music Singles Review – Digital Spy". Digitalspy.ca. September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  27. ^ Berzerk | Vh1 India
  28. ^ a b "Berzerk – Single by Eminem". iTunes Store (US). Apple. August 27, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  29. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  30. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  31. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  32. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  33. ^ "Eminem Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  34. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 201337 into search.
  35. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk". Tracklisten. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  36. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  37. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  38. ^ "Greece Digital Songs: September 14, 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  39. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  40. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Berzerk". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  41. ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 35 (dal 26-08-2013 al 01-09-2013)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  42. ^ "Eminem Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  43. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  44. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  45. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  46. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart Gaon Chart". Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  47. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  48. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk". Singles Top 100.
  49. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  50. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  51. ^ "Official Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  52. ^ "Eminem Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  53. ^ "Eminem Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  54. ^ "Eminem Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  55. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  56. ^ "Best of 2013: Canadian Hot 100". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  57. ^ "Top de l'année Top Singles 2013" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  58. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  59. ^ "End of Year 2013" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  60. ^ "Best of 2013 – Hot 100 Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  61. ^ "2013 Year End Charts — R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  62. ^ "2013 Year End Charts — Rap Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  63. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 2014". Billboard. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  64. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  65. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Eminem – Berzerk". Music Canada.
  66. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Eminem; 'Berzerk')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  67. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Eminem" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  68. ^ "British single certifications – Eminem – Berzerk". British Phonographic Industry.
  69. ^ "American single certifications – Eminem – Berzerk". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  70. ^ "Eminem – Berzerk (Universal)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. August 27, 2013. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  71. ^ "blitz". Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  72. ^ "CHR – Available for Airplay". FMQB. September 3, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  73. ^ Corner, Lewis (September 11, 2013). "Eminem: 'Berzerk' – Music video". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved October 15, 2013.