On D12’s sophomore album, they’re just as sophomoric as ever. Of course, no one ever really bought a D12 album for its touching, soulful lyrics, either. This album is really one for Eminem fans, as he tends to really dominate the album. He is heavily relied on for the choruses, which causes the album to fall short on Em-absent tracks.
Individually, the other members of D12 have their problems standing out on this album. Proof has tight flows and is the lyrical powerhouse next to Eminem, and Bizarre tries his best to shock with his purposefully “bizarre” rhymes, but the other three members – Kuniva, Kon Artis and Swift – suffer from being almost entirely interchangeable, acknowledged on the first single “My Band.”
In a move that hurts the album – or helps, if you’re into that sort of thing – is Eminem’s work on the boards on a few tracks; gifted rapper, shitty producer. Some tracks have good rhymes to terrible beats, and in the case of the title track, a good Kanye-produced beat and shitty flows.
Like a rose growing from a pot of dirt, there are some notable tracks worth a second look, like the Dre-produced, B-Real collaboration “American Psycho II,” which is a good example of what the rest of the album could have been with decent production. “My Band” also gets some notice as it is the classic Eminem raucous, irreverent style seen on D12’s last album and The Slim Shady LP. The bit about “my salsa” at the end is hysterical shit, too.
Also true to form, the album produces what will be a real hit with the ladies with the song “Bitch,” a club bumper which uses its titular female epithet 64 times: “OK, back to the bitches / Wash the dishes after that, give me stitches / I’ll fuck a half-Indian chick / Suck my dick.”
Overall, D12 produces an album that looms in the shadow of the “lead singer” of the band. Individually, they aren’t the best rappers, but they’re a lot better than other rap supergroups. They liberally use Eminem throughout to sell the records and unfortunately let him produce, too. Worth a listen, or a download… er, from iTunes, of course.
[Cole Burbidge declares himself to be “whiter than white.” Thank you.]