Last night, the new Eminem single, "Berzerk," from the upcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2, was premiered on Shade 45.
As had been teased in commercials leading up to the song's release, "Berzerk" sounds like a clear throwback to the 1980s production style pioneered by Rick Rubin, the legendary name behind such classic hip-hop LPs as LL Cool J's Radio, Run-DMC's Raising Hell, and The Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill. It's likely no coincidence; Rick Rubin is on board as executive producer on the project, alongside Dr. Dre.
For many hip-hop listeners, this track is a reminder of Rick Rubin's collaboration with Jay Z, which resulted in the classic "99 Problems" from The Black Album. The reason that track jumps to mind so immediately is because, unlike the '90s revivalism that remains in vogue, the '80s have entered hip-hop in more subtle ways. Artists like Missy Elliott and The Black Eyed Peas have continually raided '80s dancefloors for ideas for hits. But the big gated drums, metal guitars, and techno production styles pioneered in that era aren't given quite as much credence as some good ol' early '90s breakbeat boom bap.
But just because the '80s aren't referenced quite as often doesn't mean that decade hasn't made its presence known during the last ten years. Put on your legwarmers and let's get physical: Here are Songs From the Past Decade That Sound Like the '80s.
Written by David Drake (@somanyshrimp) and Max Goldberg (@goopygold).
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