In the post-Motown landscape of Detroit, brothers rocking
the mic are still being considered the voice of young America. Yet, instead
of dreaming of blue skies and white picket fences, the unruly boys known as
D12 create surreal universes of wild times and unruly rhymes. On their bombastic
sophomore effort, D-12 World, this motley crew of versatile style slayers
mixes the rowdiness and absurdities of their lives into one potent cocktail.
Two years after selling four million copies worldwide of their debut Devils
Night, these motor city wild boys are on a mission to define themselves in
the hectic canon of now-school hip-hop. In D-12 World, anything
can happen at any time, Kuniva laughs. Devils Night was
just an introduction, now its time for us to really go crazy.
With a lineup that includes sharp tongued Eminem, crazy cat Bizarre, beatmaster
Kon Artis, laid-back Swift, chilled-out Kuniva and freestyle king Proof, the
D12 posse is already popular. The groups debut disc received rave reviews
in the press. USA Today wrote, The garishly funky beats that underpin
the diabolically clever wordplay make the album hard to dismiss their
diatribes seem born less of anger and more of disdain for all thats
Devils Night established D12 as one of the super groups of the new millennium
with its chart-topping singles Purple Pills and Fight
Music and with their outlandish antics on record and in performance.
So what if Eminem has nine Grammys and one Oscar (Lose Yourself
from the 8 Mile soundtrack); so what if Mr. Shady has proven himself as a
film star (8 Mile)
and Americas most popular rapper, when D12 is in the house, hes
just another group member.We
all knew each other growing up in Detroit, Proof remembers. I
used to sneak Em into my school lunchroom just so he could battle. Later,
when we started battling once a month at Maurice Malones Hip-Hop Shop,
everybody had a crew. So, we decided to form our own. Thats how D12
was born. Before we even thought about making records, our only goal was to
be like verbal ninjas and kick ass. Although
the Detroit hip-hop scene might not be on the scale of New York or Cali, those
who are down take rap very seriously. Having known each other since the days
when they were rapping just to be heard, head nodding on stage inside Detroits
infamous Hip-Hop Shop (where Proof was also the host), these brothers from
different mothers have always had a special bond. We
were the All-Star Team of battle rappers, Kuniva recalls. And
when somebody like Bizarre got in front of the mic, we never knew what he
might say. Bizarre is wicked cause hell say shit that others wont.
While the group was a priority, each of the members has worked
on solo and side projects. Still, it wasnt until Eminems own legendary
solo success with Dr. Dre that D12 finally got a chance to move beyond their
neighborhoods. Em was able to take D12 to the next level, Kon
Artis says. Prior to teaming-up in front of a mic, the two worked together
at a local pizza joint called Gilberts Lounge. He helps to bring
stuff out of us. With him, no matter what happens, its always been about
One friend and group member who wouldnt live to see D12 successfully
rock the world was a young rapper named Bugz. Although he too was down with
the crew, Bugz was killed shortly before D12 was signed to Shady Records.
His last request was that we put Swift in the group, Proof says.
If you listen to our song Good Die Young on D-12 World,
youd understand how much he meant to the group. In an odd coincidence,
Proofs son was born the same day Bugz died. After
the release of Devils Night, the D12 crew spent many days and nights
touring the world. Although Bizarre was still bringing the laughs and Kuniva
was still being his outspoken self, there was still time for reflection. Anyone
who listened to the Devils Night will hear a lot of growth on our new
joint, Kon Artis says. For the past two years all weve done
is tour and mature. Bizarre concurs, Although Eminem is the most
prominent member of the crew, on this album the rest of D12 steps up and displays
their skills. On D-12 World, you can clearly hear were all dope MCs.
Most rap on the radio right now is either popcorn or gangsta, but were
going for a new refreshing approach with our beats and lyrical content.
The entire My Band
track originated from a joke, Swift explains. On the whole song,
Em is just this dick lead singer who anoints us the cute one or the shy one.
Its just a goof directed at the media. Reminding one
of a rap version of Spinal Tap, this minimally produced Em nugget has the
charm of Mad magazine and sassiness of a snake. As group member Kon Artis,
himself a noted producer (find him listed as Mr. Porter in the production
credits), says, Em created a track that is just pure adrenaline. We
just went in the studio and tried to destroy whatever people might think about
D12. Any backlash that Em has to deal with from the press, we go though together.
D12 is more than a group, were brothers. Although naysayers and
corn balls might try to label the humorous Im Gonna Get My Gun
as just another gangsta anthem, Bizarre knows better. Thats another
one of those times we were just messing around in the studio, he explains.
One of the engineers said, You ever been in a club, and see dudes
get in a fight. One guy always gotta announce...Im gonna get my gun!
Its funny, but its also real. Kon
Artis, who has studied the art of production under Detroit homeboy Jaydee
(Slum Village) and Cali flyboy Dr. Dre (who also contributes to the project
with American Psycho II featuring B-Real), has risen in the ranks
as one of raps most sought-after sound providers. Currently,
he is working on tracks for Dres upcoming CD, Snoop, Method Man and
Bilal. The best lesson Dre ever taught me was it doesnt hurt to
try an idea. The only way to get to the next level is to not be afraid.
Additional producers on D-12
World include: Hi-Tek, Night & Day, Red Spyda, and Sick Notes.
With the release of D-12 World, the group
has created the perfect blueprint for all future groups to follow. As Proof
is quick to say, Forget about the word real, D12 keeps it right.
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by Interscope/Aftermath/ Shady Records.
Tracklisting: 1. Git Up
3. I'll Be Damned
4. Dude (Skit)
5. My Band
6. U R The One
7. 6 In The Morning
8. How Come
9. Leave Dat Boy Alone
10. Get My Gun
11. Bizarre (Skit)
13. Steve's Coffee House
14. D-12 World
15. 40 Oz.
16. Commercial Break
17. American Psycho 2
18. Bugz 97
19. Good Die Young
20. Keep Talkin'