Eminem’s 80’s Throwback Jams: Berzerk and Toy Soldiers


eminem-berzerkBerzerk kicks off with the prophetic words, “Let’s take it back to straight hip-hop and start it from scratch”. Eminem’s latest single is a nod, actually it’s a full head-bob dedicated to the glory days of Old School Rap and 80’s hair metal. The video opens with famed producer, Rick Rubin, and Eminem cranking up a giant boombox ala Marty McFly in Back To The Future. The heavily sampled song combines Billy Squier’s The Stroke, The Beastie Boys’ Fight For Your Right and It’s The New Style. More 80’s throwback visuals including a Kangol cap, reverse camera footage like The Pharcyde’s “Drop” video, and classic Beastie Boy video techniques.



eminem_toy_soldiersHearing Berzerk reminds me of Eminem’s reworking of 80’s pop princess, Martika, and her biggest chart hit, Toy Soldiers. Eminem’s version keeps the dramatic mood and sampled Martika on the song’s chorus. Only this time, Eminem ups the ante with a powerful documentary on rap’s beef battles and his attempt to squash the rivalries between rappers 50 Cent and Rule, Dr Dre and Death Row founder Suge Knight. In a sad commentary, rapper Proof appears in the video and just a few short years later, Proof was murdered.