D-12, short for the Dirty Dozen, are a group of 6 rappers with two names apiece from Detroit. Their popularity has been given a boost by the incredible success of their executive producer and longtime member Eminem.

I like D-12 because they move beyond the standard bullshit that is general rap music. Their songs don't just sound good, they present interesting viewpoints on volatile issues, Furthermore, if one can look beyond the violent and perverse "characters" the group's members play on the album, they make really good points about life in general: always give respect where it is due, stay true to your friends, do not lie.

For an example of the kind of legitimate yet controversial argument they make, take a listen to "Revelation," a track in which they defend the anger and frustration that was felt by the Columbine murderers. This is a good point; although the Kliebold and Harris were definitely wrong to kill their classmates, we need to understand what they were feeling or it will happen again.

Andre the Giant is not the only one with a posse. Eminem has one too.

D-12, aka The Dirty Mothafuckin Dozen, is a rap group in the vein of the Nelly and the St. Lunatics. These two rap groups have several similarities. They're both, the vehicles that got their stars, Marshall Mathers and The Band-Aid Guy respectively, signed to major labels and re-arranged the rap world completely.

D-12 got it's start circa 1994 at Detroit's Hip Hop Shop, which is(was?) a hangout visited by local emcees. The Hip Hop Shop also had a Saturday night open mic night. On one of those nights, the then unknown Eminem battled against local producer Kon Artis. The two instantly started off on a good foot "I remember we both said the same obscure punch-lineto each other."1 The friendship between the two was strong, and Em asked the Artis (not) to produce some beats for Eminem's ill-recieved first solo album Infinite.

2 down, 4 to go. Yeap, 4 more. I know I know, before you say anything how is 2 + 4 = 12? No, this won't turn into one of those 1 + 1 = 3 nodes, this has a simple answer anyone can understand. The group contains 6 guys, each with 2 different personalities, making 12 in total. However, I don't really much of a difference in Bizarre's lyrics. Speaking of Bizarre, he, like the other 4 members I've not yet touched on, was slowing gaining in popularity in the underground of Detroit. In 1997 Bizarre released his only(?) solo album, Attack of the Wierdos. 2 years earlier Proof released a single called Searchin, and Swifty was working as one half of Rabeez.

"'We were all these little stragglers,' says Proof, 'So we thought that we would form together in a group and be the illest.'"1 In 1998 Em released the Slim Shady EP, a 10 track sampling of what the Shady one had to offer. Track 7, No One's Iller, features Bizarre, and some other no name named Fuzz. This was the first of Eminem's future D-12 mates to appear on one of his albums.

"We made a pact years ago, which ever one of us gets signed comes back for the rest." - Eminem

And come back for the rest he did. Eminem got uber-famous off of the Slim Shady LP (what the Slim Shady EP evolved into). I don't think I need to go into how famous Em became, because that's common knowledge. On his follow up to the Slim Shady LP, entitled The Marshall Mathers LP, he recorded one track with D-12. On this track, Under The Influence, the crew raps about what they know best, drugs and how tough/bad ass they are. While this track was not a standout on the album, it still worked good in limited rotation at the Frat Parties I used to DJ, due to it's rolling baseline and, of course, the fact it is an Eminem track.


Steve Berman:

Hey Steve, Vanessa said you waned to see me

Marshall, I can call you Marshall right?

Uhh, sure

Good, sit the fuck down for a second


Do you just fuckin hate me?

Hate you?

What the fuck have I ever done to you?
Your last record, we got lucky
This D-12 album is fucked

What's wrong with it?

I don't wanna rape my grandmother
I don't wanna have sex with pitbulls
I wanna roll on dubs, I want throw bows, I wanna rock Prada

Rock prada?

And who the fuck is this Bizarre guy?

What do you mean

Do you need a cat-scan?
Where the fuck did you find this guy

I mean, I've known him like...

This album's never coming out

Steve, you've only heard one song

Fuck you
Get the fuck outta here

Okay, okay, shit

Steve Berman (skit) - track 17 on Devil's Night

D-12's first album appeared before the release of the Marshall Mathers LP. They released an independent disc referred to as The Underground EP. Em only raps on three songs, and the disc itself is out of print. D-12's first mainstream album dropped in 2001. This disc featured D-12 doing what they do best, being dirty in every way possible. It also featured Eminem's first time doing production on a rap album. Don't worry, he wasn't alone. His mentor, and all around dude that made him a household name, Dr. Dre produced four of the tracks on the album, although I don't know which four.

The first single released off of the Devil's Night album was a cut entitled Purple Pills, although you wouldn't be able to tell from the bullshit censorship the FCC forces upon radio. For radio and eMpTyV, the track was changed to Purple Hills. In usual fashion, this meant many of the lyrics had to be changed as well.

I take a couple uppers, I down a couple downers
But nothing compares to these blue and yellow purple pills
I've been to Mushroom Mountain, once or twice but who's countin
But nothin compares to these blue and yellow purple pills

The album itself plays like an Eminem album, which is not surprising. Subject matter on the different cuts on the album range from drugs, pistols, people bugging you while your emblazened, and how your Mom smokes too much crack. Except for the last track on the disc. The last track is rather interesting one indeed. It's called Revelation. The best way I can think of to describe this track is as Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) for the rap world/modern generation. The track is complete with "How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat" quote at the end.

Wait 'til school's over, pu-pil are people to shoot through
Kids goin cuckoo, with a two-two
Since my friend is this new dude, in this high school
Losin his noodle learnin that people don't like you
The football jocks is, spittin on him
Popular kids in school is now pickin on him
Burn out youngsta niggaz now hittin on him
And his teacher in his english class keep flippin on him
And now he's grounded with no allowances
for drinkin forty ounces, cause he was caught by his counselors
And why the fuck I gotta ride the bench coach?
Already got expelled for wearin a trenchcoat
All I ever seen is.. {violence, violence}
Told me to keep silent, stop battin my eyelids
It's apparent that my parents weren't parents at all
That's why I blew out my brains and murdered you all

Yeah, so I went too far with that last sentence. While this song can get that kind of message across, it also gets across all the "bad parts" of hip hop. Re-read the last line if I'm not getting my point across. This song was highly influenced from that Columbine bullshit that happened2. It’s an excellently good idea, but could have been implemented better, imho.

Devil's Night wouldn't be complete without talking about Girls. No, I don't mean Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls that just wanna have fun, or even females at all. Girls is a track rapped on solely by Eminem in which he rips Limp Bizkit a new one, if they had one to begin with. Em and Bizkit were cool once. They toured on the Anger Management tour and Em even did a song with Fred Durst. I unfortunately don't remember the title though. This track is the culmination of Em's feud with Bizkit and their dj, DJ Lethal and former House of Pain MC Everlast.

1: www.d-12online.com
2: Columbine is a tragedy, however what went on in that school was bullshit, there's no reason for it or for what it caused. I am not trying to demean those involved in anyway.
all lyrics liberally ganked from the Origional Hip Hop Lyrics Archive (www.ohhla.com)

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