REVIEW: D-12 – Devil’s Night

Devil's Night

Artist: D-12

Album: Devil’s Night

Label: Interscope

Rating: 6.5 / 10

Reviewer: DJ MF

Like so many others before him, and most recently Nelly, Eminem has finally dropped a crew album. The crew in question being D-12, or the Dirty Dozen. Comprised of 6 members, including their most famous, Eminem, they hail from Detroit, and continue the “shock” rap legacy started by artists such as Esham and the Gravediggaz. Why the Dirty DOZEN if there’s only 6 of them you ask? Well, they each have an alter ego as well, hence the 12. Not my idea.

Production on this LP was handled by the usual suspects who ran the two previous Eminem LP’s, including Dre, the Bass Brothers, and Em himself, making for a seamless transition from Em’s previous LP’s to this one. In fact, it sounds EXACTLY like an Eminem LP, except a little darker, and with some new voices thrown in.

Let’s just see how dirty they are…

1) Another Public Service Announcement
Much like Em’s previous two LP’s, this album starts off with a PSA as well. This time, the announcer is mugged, and a D-12 member takes over, telling you what to expect, which again constitutes a lot of swearing, misogyny and the like. It ends with the guy killing the announcer. Amusing, but very skippable.

2) Shit Can Happen
We start things off song wise with this track, which sounds like it’s produced by Dre, but isn’t. It has the same sort of stutter start/stop beat found on the Em track ‘Kill You’, but it’s smoother here, and less jagged. Simple drums, some heavy bass, and some electronic blips make up the bulk of the beat, and when the chorus drops, you get a chant of “shit can happen” overlaid with some G-funk horns. Nice. The lyrics are on point for this too, with each member detailing how “shit” can happen if you mess with D-12. Em steals the show however, in what will be a recurring theme, with lines like –

“Young and ornery, worse than my Uncle Ronnie
Ever since I got my first gun pulled on me
I can’t stop airin out my dirty laundry
Middle fingers flipped and censorship
Your friends just flipped over the swift penmanship
Ever since I spit some shit on “Infinite”
I been givin it, a hundred and ten percent
Cause when I’m bent – most of my energy’s spent on enemies
Eighty percent of what I invent is Hennessey
Twenty percent is from being hungry as sin
Ten’s because I love being under your skin”

3) Pistol Pistol
Ah, here’s the first real test of the LP for the young lads of D-12, as Em only does the hook for this track. The beat is fabulous, with a heavy bassline, 4/4 drums, and a synth line for the melody that’ll keep your head bobbing for some time. When Em drops that chorus, you can hear the intensity in his voice, and it just adds to the fury of the song, which deals with the reasons behind why every member of D-12 has a pistol by their side at all times. Bizarre almost ruins this with his idiocy, but it’s saved by some choice lyrics from the others, most notably Proof, who drops a nice verse.

“Stepped in the door, waving the fo’-fo’
Blazin at po-po, escapin and lay low
They call my tongue yae-yo, but I spit fire
I lit five inside a fuckin dickrider
The clip slider, love to blast a Mag
You a fag, you love being ass to ass
Grab a gun by the nose with the butt to gat-spank ya
Never say that I’m a gangsta- now THAT’S gangsta”

4) Bizzarre
A skit, and a bad one at that. I guess this is supposed to let us know that Bizarre is a ladies man, even though he’s a fat black guy with blond hair. Pass.

5) Nasty Mind
This track has some serious G undertones here, with a beat that sounds tailor-made for someone like, say Snoop to rhyme over. Instead we get Bizarre. DAMMIT! The beat is laid back, and has a very nice funky guitar lick as the loop. It sounds ALMOST like the one they used on the Eve track ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’. It’s all good though. The chorus is booty, as Bizarre and some singer talk about how they have nasty minds. Swifty, Kuniva, and Artis all do a decent job here, but Bizarre ruins it for me again. Let me provide you with a snippet of Bizarre’s verse just to highlight his ineptitude.

“On welfare, ten kids like the rest of my bitches
Dreams of fuckin a handicapped bitch
Suck my dick while your teeth start to grit
And a slave, that’s how I want you to treat me
I ain’t into S&M, but I love when you beat me
I told you I was a horny-ass freak
While I’m beatin my meat, your daughter actin like she asleep
My love is like thunder and lightning
After it’s over, I’m lookin like I got my ass kicked by Tyson”

Now read those lines, and imagine a montone deep voice with no flow saying them. Get my point?

6) Ain’t Nuttin But Music
Woah, this track sounds like a replica of ‘The Real Slim Shady’ upon first listen. The beat is VERY close to that,with a fast paced distorted synth bass driving everything, with some basic underlying drums. The chorus is pretty catchy, and is done by Em, and the lyrics are basically a celebrity slamfest. Basically anyone famous who D-12 don’t like gets ripped here, with the best lines again being dropped by Em. Amazingly, Bizarre has a decent verse here, professing his love for of all things, N’Sync. Some funny stuff.

“It’s shit like this I kick to these rich white kids
Who just might see how fucked up this sick life is
Whoops I did it again didn’t I my shit’s harder
Yo figure out than what Britney’s tit size is
I probably pissed you off again didn’t I bitch
You and Christina Gaguilera kiss my grits
You know how many shits I give? I wish I did”

7) American Psycho
Wow, what a great beat. A super dark and eerie bassline here, that even my good speakers can’t handle completely. And then out of nowhere comes this great piano loop, that sounds straight out of ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Great stuff, and sounds like something straight out of a horror movie. But that doesn’t prepare you for the buzzsaw of a chorus, where some killer electric guitars are overlaid, making this even more menacing if that’s possible. Em absolutely kills his verse, probably one of the best ones I’ve ever heard from him, and then Bizarre almost ruins the track. AHHHH! I hate Bizarre! Kon Artis then attempts to clean it all up, and does so for the most part, so at least I can listen to this song without a bad taste in my mouth.

“I’m a dog – fuck lambs, I’m silencin ’em all
I’m involved in murders forensic science couldn’t solve
Giant set of balls too big to buy a set of drawers
Might as well unzip my fly and let ’em fall to the floor
Each thought’s completely warped
I’m like a walkin, talkin, ouija board
Speakin in tongues, I’ve never spoke this speech before”

8) That’s How (Skit)
A setup for the next track, with D-12 playing live at some club, and then jumping some guy who’s interfering with the show. Useless.

9) That’s How
The B-side to the lead single, and in my opinion, BETTER than the lead single. It’s the best track on the LP that doesn’t feature Eminem, and surprisingly enough, it’s because of the lyrics. The beat is pretty rough around the edges, and sounds almost unfinished. A heavy bass beat, with 4/4 drums, and a weird screwed sounding horn noise accentuating everything. The drums are particularly nice here. The point of the song? Basically scenarios that show how someone can get messed up. This actually leads to a ton of funny lines, most notably the one about how screwed up Em’s relationship with his wife is.

“Chokin your wife all in front of your peeps
She toss a brick through the window of your Jeep
Get back together by the end of the week, that’s so sweet
Slim and Kim argue too much”

10) Purple Pills
The lead single off the LP, and to my dismay, not worthy of it, although I can see why they did it, since it is extremely catchy. The problem is that in order to get it to radio, they had to change the name to ‘Purple Hills’, and what was a drug ode, becomes some happy vibe ish that just plain out stinks compared to the unedited version. The beat on this is pretty unique, and consists of a rumbling heaving bassline, and some countrified horns. That’s it. The chorus is catchy enough to be stuck in your head all day, and the verses all shine, except once again for Bizarre’s, in what is becoming a recurring theme.

“It’s Mr. Mischief with a trick up his sleeve
To roll up on you like Christopher Reeves
I can’t describe the vibe I get
When I drive by six people and five I hit
Aww shit, I started a mosh pit
Squashed a bitch and stomped her foster kids
These ‘shrooms make me hallucinate
Then I sweat till I start losin weight
‘Til I see dumb shit start happenin
Dumber than Vanilla Ice tryin to rap again
So bounce, bounce, come on bounce
{*GUNFIRE*} I said come on, bounce
Everybody in the house with a half an ounce
Not weed, I meant coke, dumb-ass sit down
We don’t bullshit, better ask around
D-12 throws the bombest bash in town
Bizarre, your mom is passin out
Get her ass on the couch ‘fore she crashes out”

11) Fight Music
Like the title would suggest, this is amped up music made for fighting. The beat is aggressive, has hard drums, and uses what sounds like heavy metal guitar chords to drive everything, especially the chorus. It sounds like it all should clash, but it works beautifully. Bizarre sucks again, and the rest do a great job letting you know how the music makes them want to fight.

“I’m a nigga that loves scuffles
And won’t hesitate to sock you again for swollen knuckles
I’m like that, catch a nigga like bear traps
Blow his head back right in front of the priest sayin, “You hear that?”
I slap your freak, bump you and won’t speak
If you step on my feet, you get drowned in your own drink
I suffocated my shrink just for talkin
Came back and fucked up his pallbearers and made ’em drop his coffin
It’s fight music!”

12) Instigator, 13) Pimp Like Me, 14)Blow My Buzz
I’ve bunched these together, because in my opinion these are the exact same song. Nothing new here really, and they don’t stand out in any way from eachother. ‘Instigator’ is just very plain, ‘Pimp Like Me’ has an interesting beat, uninteresting lyrics, and a horribly sung chorus, and ‘Blow My Buzz’ is the now standard Eminem drug rap over a poppy sounding beat(see ‘Drug Ballad’), with another horrible chorus. Of the 3, I’d say ‘Pimp Like Me’ is the best, strictly for it’s key heavy rhythm, but that’s not saying much. I normally skip all three.

15) Obie Trice
A skit of sorts, introducing Mr. Obie Trice to the world. Obie is the first artist signed to Eminem’s Shady Records, and is a veritable legend in the Detroit hip hop scene. This little freestyle shows why, as he just smokes everything in his path. It’s short, but it made me want to pick up his album when it drops.

“Obie Trice, first I took the underground over
The well-known asshole brought y’all horror
Then the industry start interesting me
Now I’m Shady Records like the Marshall Mathers LP
Mr. Trice, the name has occured
In your conversation, but the face is a blur
And if you never spoke my name, nigga you heard
Got word, from that mega bitch that stay bootleggin
Underground since the Fu-Schnickens
Or underground since Chi-Ali was fuckin’ with them stupid bitches
Different species
Shittin’ on you punk motherfuckers
With a Dirty Dozen type of feces”

16) Devil’s Night
A pretty nice beat here for the title track, with a ‘Victory’ styled bassline in the background, and some menacing bassdrops thrown in for good measure. Not much in terms of lyrical inventiveness here, as D12 does the usual shock ish, with no real story behind it all this time. Mediocre.

17) Steve Berman
Another skit in the same vein as the ones on Em’s LP’s. This time Steve takes Em to task again for the horrible album he’s put out, telling him he was “lucky” he sold so many last time, and that this would be his downfall. Funny the first time as usual.

18) Revelation
A great ending track. A great rock inspired beat, with some nasty electric guitars and your usual hip hop beats beneath. The guitars are great here, with a looped solo for the verses, and a progression to chords for the chorus. Great stuff. The subject matter here also changes up, and instead of just pure shock, we get shock, plus some knowledge, as D-12 reminisces on all those who thought they’d amount to nothing. Good stuff, and we get an homage to Pink Floyd at the end by Em… I’ll let you the listener figure it out.

“I’ve been praised and labelled as crazed
My mother was unable to raise me, full of crazy rage
An angry teenager, nothin can change me back
Gangsta rap made me act like a maniac
I was boostin, so influenced by music I used it
As an excuse to do shit, ooh I was stupid
No one could tell me nothin hip-hop overwhelmed me
To the point where it had me in a whole other realm
It was like isolatin myself was healthy
It felt like we was on welfare but wealthy
Compelled me to excel when school it failed me
Expelled me and when the principal would tell me
I was nothin, and I wouldn’t amount to sh*t
I made my first million and counted it
Now look at, a fuckin drop-out that quits
Stupid as shit, rich as fuck, and proud of it”

And that’s it.

But wait, it’s NOT.

Ladies and gentlemen, a bonus track…

19) Girls
This isn’t a D-12 cut. This is an Eminem solo outing here. A remake of the Beastie Boys classic? Nope. This is Eminem spitting pure venom at a couple of people who he felt backstabbed him. Namely Fred Durst, Limp Bizkit, and DJ Lethal. And he doesn’t pull punches. The beat is quiet, almost nursery rhyme like, and reminds me a lot of the beats Pac used to use when he’d do diss records. The treat here is the lyrics. If there’s a better diss artist than Em in the world today, I don’t know who it is. He hides no names, and calls everyone who he feels has done him wrong out. He also mentions B-Real of Cypress Hill, but commends him for staying out of everything, especially since he knew everyone involved in the original beat (Whitey Ford). This basically came about when Lethal went on MTV and said that Everlast could take Eminem in a battle, AFTER having told Eminem he supported him. These are the repercussions. Supposedly Mr. Durst was irate at the label over this track. Let’s see what the idiot is going to do now. Should be entertaining as he tries to flex his non-existant rhyme skills.

“Then I look on the T.V, now look who’s mentioning me
That little fucking weasle, DJ Lethal on MTV
After I gave you props on that song you on national TV
Talking bout Everlast is gonna whoop my ass when he sees me
Come on dog, you was supposed to be on that song
Talkin bout how bad you hate him, now you all in his thong
Whats wrong? You scared? And Fred you said you was dissing him too
I should have knew better than to have listened to you
You fu**ing sissy, up on stage screaming how much people hate you
They dont hate you, they just think you’re corny since Christina played you
And I dare you motherfuckers too try and diss me back
Thats a sissy act, and dont call me kissing my ass
Cause I swear to god this aint just a song I’m trying to pre-warn you
Lethal when I fucking see you dog I’m swinging on you
Motherfuckers must think cause I’m in trouble with the law
That I won’t draw, up my sentence and double it tomorrow”

So ends a pretty uneven LP. That one stretch of 3 songs really stinks up the joint, but luckily they’re all together, so they can be skipped as a block. The rest of the material on the LP, save for the one song near the beginning is good though, and bodes well for the general future of D-12.

I have to admit, when I first heard of this crew, I was a little weary, and thought they were just riding Em’s coattails to success. That may be true in part, but these guys do have some skills, and aren’t just clones of Mr. Mathers, which is a good thing. Proof and Swift in particular stand out. Bizarre needs to be kicked to the curb fast though.

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