What would happen if you introduced Slim Shady and Duck Dynasty took the stage instead?
That’s what we were left wondering when Saturday Night Live host Kerry Washington introduced Eminem. The camera cut to a guy in a backwoods beard laying down the arm of one of those old suitcase record players on a vinyl copy of Billy Squier’s still crisp slammer from 1981, “The Stroke”.
Then Eminem took the stage, breaking into a hellacious version of his new single “Berserk”. Man. It must be cold in Detroit, because Em, like his DJ, is rocking a parka.
That wilderness-looking guy may be a little overqualified to spin records. It’s legendary producer Rick Rubin, the studio whiz for Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which comes out Tuesday.
“Berserk” is a throwback treasure. Squier makes an inspired sample (His 1980 breakout hit, “The Big Beat’ has been used on songs from “Ain’t No Half- Steppin’” by Big Daddy Kane to Jay Z’s “99 Problems”). You hear a touch of Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys in the mix? Rubin produced those guys too, back in the day.