Esham

Detroit Dog Shit

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AllMusic Review by

Alongside Bootleg, Detroit Dog Shit serves as an excellent introduction to Esham's deep catalog and perverse sound, compiling many of his best songs from the 1990s while adding a few previously unreleased tracks. There are reasons why beginning with one of Esham's compilations is probably the best idea for newcomers. First of all, he takes rap to exploitative extremes, rapping about morbid and sexually perverse topics while also venturing into bleak nihilism on nearly every song -- his view of the world is tainted with horror. Secondly, besides being hard to stomach, Esham is also a prolific artist, churning out 11 albums during the 1990s in addition to several albums as a trio with N.A.T.A.S. In sum, getting a diverse representation of his canon can be a rather daunting task. Thankfully, Detroit Dog Shit's 20 tracks summarize his 1990s accomplishments before he ultimately showed signs of mellowing out by the decades end. Songs such as "Acid" and "Momma Was a Junkie" showcase his urge to revel in decadence, while songs such as "Rockz Off" and "Pussy Ain't Got No Face" portray his misogynistic side, and songs such as "Wake Up Dead" and "Losin My Religion" find him acting morbid and evil. Looking past his primary subject matter -- death, horror, drugs, sex, evil -- he's a surprisingly fluid rapper capable of funneling his angst into his voice. Furthermore, his self-produced tracks are rather stunning sample-loaded soundscapes that brought Black Sabbath-meets-Funkadelic guitar sounds to nocturnal hip-hop beats long before anyone ever heard of Kid Rock or Insane Clown Posse. It's arguable whether this album captures his best moments better than 2000's Bootleg -- both are great and far surpass his individual albums in terms of quality -- just make sure you get the TVT re-release of this album.

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