by Kahn Davison
D12 is now more than just Em’s road dawgs — they’re a collection of emcees that have established themselves as a lyrically endowed bunch able to hold their own. But what does that mean? This hip-hop wrecking crew is arguably the most popular thing to roll out of D-town since the Ford Mustang, sure, but D 12 World is about as desirable as a well-polished Tempo.
The tracks “Git Up,” “Loyality,” “Bitch,” “Leave Dat Boy Alone,” “D-12 World” and “Keep Talkin’” all are musically exceptional but the content is marred by silly gun, bitch, and battle-rap rhetoric. How many emcees can you kill in one CD? Elsewhere, “Just Like You” is a sarcastic nod at parenting that comes off as aggravating pissy-patter: “Son ya daddy got a foul mouth for fucking bitches in the foul mouth. I can’t help it, my roots D-12, all we do is pop pills and stay in jail,” raps Bizarre.
The self-poking MTV rote piece “My Band” is creative and catchy but it reeks of novelty. The lowest point is “40 Oz.,” a throwback anthem armed with a Lil’ John-type chant that might light up club floors, but the tired glorification of the 40 is just so five-years-ago.
But not all is lost: “G In The Morning” is a relaxed track that blazes; the subtle gun references notwithstanding. Ditto for the fun and bouncy head-nodder “Get My Gun.” In “How Come,” D12 calls out those that have spewed jealousy disses once the crew hit the big time. The most powerful track is “Good Die Young” on which Kon Artis raps about the group’s fallen comrade, “I look back on the tragic day my phone rung, and Bizarre’s voice tellin’ me that Bugz had gone home.”
Overall, four choice songs and stellar production can’t save this gazillion-selling underachiever, which sees as many highs and lows as Eddie Murphy’s movie career.
E-mail Kahn Davison on firstname.lastname@example.org.