Eminem and Kid Rock have repped hard for their hometown of Detroit for years. But other than a Slim Shady cameo on the 1998 song “F— Off” from Rocks’ breakthrough Devil Without a Cause album (just before Em blew up solo), the pair have almost exclusively flown their D-Town pride from frinedly, but neutral corners, rarely appearing or performing together.
That’s all changed in the official video for “Berzerk,” the first single from Slim Shady’s highly anticipated The Marshall Mathers LP 2 .
We got a teaser look at the clip on Saturday night during Marshall’s unexpected drop-in at ESPN’s College Football Prime Time, but on Monday (September 9), the full video dropped and it had plenty more surprises in store.
A kind of mash-up of Beastie Boy visual call-backs, “Jackass” and “Bum Fights”-style snippets and cameos from some of Em’s pals, the finished product definitely finds Slim Shady back in his playful old groove. As we saw in the teaser, the opening mimics the blue screen from an old-school VHS tape, before cutting to Em’s hand putting down a giant boombox with the word “Beats” scrawled on the cassette carriage.
As the camera pans out, we see a two story master blaster that towers over Shady (in white T-shirt, khakis and his signature bleach blonde hair) and super-producer Rick Rubin (in all black and barefoot) approaching the fish eye lens.
A smash cut shows the rapper in a shirt featuring Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys, the first groups to use the hard rock-meets-rap sound that Rubin pioneered with Def Jam Records more than 30 years ago. The Beasties, of course, are sampled on the track (along with 1980s rocker Billy Squier), and much of the video is a kind of homage to their legendary visual style. Looking energized and feisty, Em raps right into the lens, waving his arms across the screen and throwing on a Pistons Jersey and matching beanie for a shot that apes one in the B-Boys’ “So What Cha Want” video.
Then it’s the Shady show, as Em forcefully drops his rhymes while pointing into camera as quick-cut images of riots, skateboard fails and backyard brawls are interspersed among the performance footage.
At one point, Kendrick Lamar pushes Em out of frame to lip synch a bit (longtime pal Royce Da 5’9 almost makes a cameo), the Slaughterhouse crew does a slow walk behind their leader as he poses in a Pistons jersey, and Slim and Rubin mean-mug the camera amid shots of Marshall around downtown Detroit.
And then, it happens. Just as Em raps, “Yessiree Bob,” none other than Kid Rock (sporting a white fedora, white tank top, fat gold chain and matching sunglasses) jumps into the scene and raps along to the line repping his hit “Bawitdaba.” The rest of the clip finds Em turning up the volume on his giant radio, doing some air scratching on a phantom turntable, showing off his b-ball skills and reverse spray painting the song’s title on a sheet of glass.
Given how central the sample is, Shady also includes a few seconds of Squier’s “The Stroke” video, you know, for the kids, before the tape runs out and the screen fades to black.