During the Video Music Awards on Sunday, Eminem surprised fans with a pair of commercials that announced he would release a new album called The Marshall Mathers LP 2 in November. Barely a day after that announcement, the first single has already dropped. "Let's bring it back to that vintage Slim," raps Eminem in the first verse of "Berzerk," a song that nakedly echoes some of his earliest and most durable hits.
It's for good reason that Eminem has named the latest album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 — a title that calls back to 2000's controversial, Grammy-winning The Marshall Mathers LP. "Bezerk" eschews the style of recent Eminem hits like "Love the Way You Lie" by returning to rapid-fire, pop-culture heavy riffs of his earlier work. The backbone of "Berzerk" goes back even further with a sample of the guitar riff from Billy Squier's 1981 hit "The Stroke," but it's clear that Eminem is aiming to conjure up a late '90s/early 2000s feeling.
Unfortunately, that means the other thing that stands out about "Berzerk" is how dated its references are. Ren & Stimpy? Kevin Federline? "Bawitdaba"? If Eminem's goal was to release a single that could actually have been a lost track from the original Marshall Mathers LP, he succeeded. But if he wants to go back to taking pot-shots at celebrities that are actually relevant, he might want to spend a day browsing TMZ first next time.
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