D12: Devil's Night

Matthew Snider


Devil's Night

Label: Interscope
US Release Date: 2001-06-19

Ever since Eminem was introduced into the mainstream, he has caused controversy with his lyrics. Be it writing a song about killing his wife, a song about Sonny Bono crashing into a tree, or a song about his popularity and how much he hates it, Eminem has always been able to push all the wrong buttons. But when his lyrics are looked at more closely, one begins to see that Eminem just uses his good for evil. You can say he influences children to swear, you can say his topics are negative, you can censor him until he almost unable to talk at all, but what it comes down to is: Eminem is good at what he does. Known as one the best freestylers of all time, and maybe the most talked about musician of the past few years, Eminem is raising hell across the world, and now he has brought a few friends along to help.

Introducing the "Dirty Dozen" also known as D12: Proof, Bizarre, Kon Artis, Swift, Kuniva, and Eminem. This group was formed seven years ago at Detroit's hip-hop Shop, a local hangout where MCs would display their talents. According to Eminem: "We made a pact years ago, which ever one of us gets signed comes back for the rest." With this in mind, the general public is now exposed to the latest installment of swearing, drugs, weapons, and everything else you have been taught was bad when you were a kid.

Devil's Night begins like Eminem's two previous releases, with another public service announcement, cleverly titled "Another Public Service Announcement". The album quickly moves into the first song titled "Shit Can Happen" where D12 basically says if you mess with us, you will be beat up or killed. The album follows this pattern with tracks like "Pistol Pistol", "American Psycho", "Fight Music", "Instigator", "Devil's Night", and "Revelation". Seeing as the album has 18 tracks, and more than six of them are about D12 coming to kill us, you begin to wonder if these guys can talk about anything else.

The first and highly successful single "Purple Pills" is being played on teenage radios all over the world. The music video is in heavy rotation as well on MTV and MuchMusic. With the popularity of this single, it is evident that this album will do well just like the previous Eminem LPs. The beat is catchy, the lyrics are clever, and the video is cool enough to get kids buying this album up like candy. With all this said, is this album as good as The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP? Well after to listening to the disc many times, the answer is no.

The first album released by Eminem was great because it was a new thing. His skill was evident, and when people put a face to the voice, they were even more surprised. With the immediate success of his first album, Eminem had to prove he could keep the people interested with his second album. Surprisingly, the second album was almost better than the first. Eminem had now dealt with stardom, being rich, and his mother suing him for saying she was a drug addict on the first album. With all this food on his plate, Eminem told people what life was like now. The impression people were getting from the second album was Eminem is great, but he hates his fans. One of the oddest things the general public saw over the last year was Eminem's performance with Elton John. After viewing this performance, one starts to realize maybe Eminem is only joking with his lyrics. But then he goes and pulls a gun on the Insane Clown Posse and threatens a guy with a gun who was kissing his wife (now ex-wife). So now what are we supposed to think?

Overall Devil's Night is good, but only one-sixth good. One begins to realize why Eminem succeeded, and why none of the other MCs made it big before him. He is the standout rapper in the group, while the other five just throw out a few decent lines. There are a few great points about the album, Eminem has done his first job producing an album and has done an amazing job. Also, he has started his own record label title Shady Records. Does this mean Dr. Dre is slowly losing his work of art? Well, Dre does step in for a visit on the album by producing four of the 18 tracks, so he is not dead yet.

In conclusion this album will just have to tie over the Slim Shady fan until he releases his third album. But my prediction is, D12 won't make another album after this one if they want to save themselves, and if Eminem wants to keep his credibility.





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