Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Rappers to release album with some help from Eminem

June 13, 2001

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— If you blank when you hear the name D12, try tacking on this phrase: "Featuring Eminem."

That's what Interscope Records and others associated with the Detroit rap group are hoping will lure the ears of hip-hop fans this summer.

D12, ostensibly a placeholder for "Dirty Dozen" but actually featuring just six members, is the longtime musical posse of the Detroit rap superstar. With its much-delayed debut album due to hit stores Tuesday, these could turn out to be high times for a hip-hop collective that's been toiling on the Detroit underground for years.

For D12's five non-superstar members Proof, Bizarre, Kon Artis, Kuniva and Swifty the pending wave of attention, which includes the cover of next month's Spin magazine, is a genuine breakthrough moment.

Fans who have thirsted for new Eminem material since last year's "The Marshall Mathers LP" can quench their jones with the new record. "Devil's Night," after all, features plenty of Eminem's nasally rap. But they shouldn't come in expecting the same sort of colorful fantasy world constructed by Eminem in his own work.

D12 trades in a rougher, rawer brand of hip-hop. While touching many of the same hot buttons that have made Slim Shady a controversial figure misogyny, drug use, violent imagery the new album isn't accompanied by much comedic relief.

"Devil's Night" is a combative record from the title on down and likely won't attract the same broad, mainstream audience that has bought more than 12 million Eminem albums.

"Devil's Night" is an egalitarian affair, featuring hefty doses of all six members and spotlighting the defining characteristics of each rapper, from Proof's streamlined, assured delivery to Bizarre's robust, rough-edged attack.

It's also a stepping-out of sorts for Eminem himself he's credited as the album's executive producer, a supervisory role that gave him more control over production than he enjoyed on his solo work.

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