1998 or 1999
Devil’s Night formally introduces the pop music world to the group Eminem rapped with before he got famous and took over. It’s D-12; The Dirty Dozen; “twleve motherfuckers in six different bodies with their personalities split” as he explains on the opener. And though only about half of those personalities are interesting enough to stand-out on their own, the album provides a dose of high-concept entertainment.
“It ain’t nothing but music,” Dr Dre declares over a technofied circus beat. That song, like much of the album, is a comical response to people who claim the group’s songs are a negative influence on children. From Eminem shooting at cops to Bizarre kidnapping Lil Bow Wow, you get the sense that all D-12 wants to do is stir-up more controversy. Fight Music, for example, is for kids to “trash their rooms with”.
Eminem, while not as lyrically impressive as he was on his Marshall Mathers LP, is consistently on-point. He’s still the best rapper. But Bizarre’s shock value; the crazy and sometimes surprisingly vulgar things he says and does in his verses, like eating his girlfriend’s “miscarriage”; makes him a notable second. Kuniva is third, followed by Proof, leaving Swifty McVay and Kon Artis merely stringing along for the hell of it.
my rating = 4 of 5