On this day, exactly 3 years ago (August 27, 2013), Eminem released “Berzerk,” the first single off The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song samples Billy Squier’s “The Stroke”, as well as the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right.”
“Berzerk” sold 362,000 downloads in its first week in the US, debuting at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming Eminem’s 15th Top 10 hit on the Hot 100. The song has peaked at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #1 Rap Songs chart. “Berzerk” has sold over 1 million copies in the US as of October 2013.
In Canada, the song debuted at #2 with 50,000 downloads sold, which more than doubled the 24,000 downloads sold in the debut week of “Not Afraid”. 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”. The song was certified Double Platinum in Digital downloads in Canada on November 1, 2013.
“Berzerk” debuted at #1 on the UK R&B / Hip Hop Chart and was replaced on the chart by his single “Rap God”.
The song entered into the Top 20 Charts in 40 different countries, including United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France and Italy and went double platinum in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
“Berzerk” was nominated for Grammy Awards, World Music Awards, MTV Music Awards Japan and MTV Video Music Awards and it won Detroit Music Awards.
The song receive positive reviews from critics. Will Hermers of Rolling Stone gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, highlighting its goal to “celebrate old-school hip-hop”. 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”. 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.”
Support Eminem and stream “Berzerk” on Apple Music below: