Up from tha underground

by

comment
Call this compilation Esham Rising, ‘cuz Detroit’s legendary wigged-out, quasi-Satanic, dark-side-of-the-acid-tab MC is, as they say, "having a moment." His years of ruling Detroit’s hip-hop underground and underworld have paid off recently with his signing to national indie TVT and he’s taking full advantage of it. "Bootleg" unleashes Esham in all his freaky-flow glory upon an audience that, thanks to the popularity of Esham’s spiritual protégés, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, is primed for the no-taboo-too-taboo flow of this Motor City mic master. In an entertainment climate where there ain’t much shocking, Esham’s left-of-left-field, extreme rhymes are shocking – really. From his R&B flavored raw-libido treatise on strippers and their labial virtues, "Black Orchid," to the old-school horror-rap paranoia of "Midnight Hour," Esham goes where few dare – and, over this comp’s span, gives testimony to his true influence on the Detroit style that’s been translated to the pop charts by Eminem, ICP and Kid Rock. But it’s Esham’s anything-goes artistry that provides the common ground where rock-crit geeks like me and the kids in the pit can meet. Absurd, offensive, but stylistically daring throughout, maybe we can catch Esham on the Grammys some day and the rest of the country will get a taste of Detroit proper.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.