"My Band," the debut single from D12's sophomore album, D12 World, is the group's greatest moment and a great introduction to the way they work. Very little else on D12 World is as exciting as "My Band," the catchy explanation of what this group (or band, or whatever you want to call it) is, and one of the best productions to ever come out of Shadyville. It's also the tamest track on D12 World, an album that's proudly sick in the head. D12 are B-list players in the world of Shadyville (addressed on "My Band" when a fan asks, "Where's Obie and Dre?"), but they're the Three Stooges meets Andrew Dice Clay with that Detroit horror-show edge, which makes them like nothing else in the rap world. ICP might trade in the same sickness as the group, but D12 have better skills and more street cred, and they also have Bizarre. He's Kool Keith on earth, smoking Newports, carrying a blowup doll, and owning every track he appears on. His grotesque masterpiece is "Just Like U," a horrific exchange between parent and child that's so disgusting the edited version of the album totally drops it. Bizarre declares, "When Mos Def hear dis/He probably suffocate me," but it's hardly the only track that would make a humanist's stomach churn. "Get My Gun" and "Bitch" are just as irresponsible, but the group must not be sick enough to repel the socially conscious hero of the moment, Kanye West. His production work on the title track gives the album another highlight, while Dr. Dre is at the helm for the quirky and dark "American Psycho II," killer track number three. Eminem rules the first two songs, and sporadically pops up throughout the album, but don't expect any of the usual reflection. His raps are concerned with his relationship to D12 and hip-hop in total or they focus on his numerous beefs, most prominent being his one with Benzino. That's hard to relate to unless you have a beef with Benzino yourself, but fans who look at D12 albums as updates on the soap opera that is Eminem's career should eat it up. The album feels more slapped together than their debut -- and there's a dry spell in the middle -- but since Eminem spends a lot of time in the background it does do a better job of developing the careers of Swift, Proof, and mostly Bizarre. Check it for his raps and the excellent "My Band," but leave your taste and morality at home.
D12 World Review
by David Jeffries
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