D12’s debut album Devil’s Night was a
heavy-handed introduction to the “all-star” collection
of Detroit rappers D12. The album’s hit, “Purple
Pills,” did well, but the record was far from a blockbuster.
D12’s second offering, D12 World, is far more
impressive, displaying the lyrical prowess of Eminem, Bizarre, Kon
Artis, Swift, Kuniva and Proof. Forget “My Band” and
its playfulness — this record by Detroit’s Dirty Dozen
is rooted in simple, bumping beats with flowing lyrics about women,
guns and anger.
“Loyalty” is the second track on the record but
it’s the first true testament to the approach and sound of
D12 World. Bass-heavy and fast-paced, the song is a prime
example of how to use the rap formula correctly: D12 mix rapid-fire
wordplay with laid-back rhymes, a combination that matches any
beat. “How Come” is in the vein of Eminem’s
darker tracks but pulses with choruses by Kon Artis and Proof.
One of the album’s best traits is each song’s
revolving roster. “6 in the Morning,” arguably one of
its best tracks, features Eminem on the chorus, with Swift, Kuniva
and Kon Artis performing alternate verses. By doing this, each
member can display his skill without talking over the others, and
the listener gets a chance to decide which rappers can distinguish
themselves. This formula, however, frequently relegates Eminem to
the chorus, an area in which the whole group should
D12 World is a testament to Shady Records’ faith in D12.
Eminem jumps in and out, more like a featured artist than a
full-time group member. Because of this, D12’s lesser-known
members are able to put forth and sell an impressive record based
on their own talent. Kon Artis is probably the only member capable
of a solo career, but they all prove themselves able to put out a
record without a goofy white rap superstar’s help and assert
themselves as a one of the best rap troupes around.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.