Sunday, July 31, 2011

D12 - Devil's Night (Review)

Being a die-hard D12 fan, I decided to review D12's first album that brought them to fame. Devil's Night, which is a CLASSIC in my book had a ton of great tracks and is overlooked in my opinion and I'll go as far to say that it's not only my favorite D12 album, it's my favorite EMINEM album. The verses he drops on here are classic to me and this period of time (1999-2003) was his time to me. He will never be as good as he was on here.

For anyone that doesn't know, D12's roster when the album was made was (in order of who has the most talent) Eminem, Proof, Bizarre, Swifty McVay, Kon Artis & Kuniva. AS OF RIGHT NOW though, it's Bizarre, Swifty McVay, Kon Artis & Kuniva. Proof unfortunately isn't on the list anymore because he was shot at a night club in Detroit (R.I.P.) The reason Eminem isn't on here too is that even though he is still in the group, he doesn't really work with them as much (D12's latest mixtape "Return of The Dozen Vol.1" didn't have any input from him and he isn't going on tour with D12 according to what I've heard. But now he's working with the group on their next studio album (rumor is, that it's supposed to be called Natural Born Killers).

Whether it's American Psycho or Devil's Night, EVERY song with a few exceptions ("coughs" Nasty Mind "coughs") is great in it's own way. So no matter how hard I try to be on this album, it's still freaking awesome. And if you're lucky enough, you can get the import limited edition, which contains a bonus disk with 3 tracks that could have easily replaced some of the tracks on here. I'll be reviewing the tracks on their as well.

Devil's Night was the album that brought D12 out into the mainstream, since they were underground for a long time (if you can pick up a copy of The Underground EP. It contains material from when Bugz was still alive). The album debuted onto the charts at No.1 making it the album of the summer. The singles released were Purple Pills (The edited version is Purple Hills) and Fight Music (oddly titled for the radio "Flight Music"). While the people that dug "The Real Slim Shady" obviously enjoyed Purple Hills, most of the Real Fans of D12 enjoyed Fight Music a lot more. But unfortunately, Fight Music didn't do as successful on the charts as Purple Hills since 95.9% of the world sells out to what I call "bubble gum rap".

But just because the album debuted at No.1 when it came out doesn't mean that it was all fun and games. Sure, if you have a messed up sense of humor like me, you would find something to laugh at in each track. This is probably one of the most darkest and messed up albums I've ever heard. And I mean that in the best way possible. But on a serious note, this album makes The Marshall Mathers LP look like a Hannah Montana album. Heck, as I recall, this album was so vulgar, they couldn't make a CLEAN version of the album. So this is probably one of rap's biggest achievements, given that a lot of the sales of a rap album come from the edited version given that rap these days is aimed at 10-15 year olds these days. It's like Purple Pills was like D12's mouse trap for people to buy the album. But let's stop talking negatives and start talking positives.

The Review Begins...

1. Another Public Service Announcement (Skit) - Kuniva introduces us to his alter ego which is known as Rondell Beene in a very funny skit/start to the album. It also does a great job of leading into the first song. But this does get old after a little bit.

2. Shit Can Happen (Kon Artis, Kuniva, Swifty & Eminem) - This was a EXCELLENT start to the album and set the bar pretty much for the album. Kon Artis starts us off with no mercy whatsoever and Kuniva drops a funny verse for me. While Swift's verse is great, it's probably the weakest on the song. Eminem RIPS IT UP on here with his verse and handles outro duties here as well. And for the Detroit Hip Hop die hards reading this...this is basically an expanded version of the Da Brigade mix of this from DJ Butter's mixtape "S#!t Happens"

3. Pistol Pistol (All Members) - This a great track and also has the stability to actually follow Shit Can Happen. Unfortunately on here, Eminem only handles the hook on here which is still pretty good. We also get introduced to the two members that weren't on the first song, Proof a.k.a Derty Harry & Bizarre a.k.a. Peter S. Bizarre. Proof drops a hot verse on here (no pun intended) and Bizarre does one that still makes me laugh no matter how many times I hear it. One of the highlights of the album for me. The beat on here sounds like something you'd hear at an Earthbound shop.

4. Bizarre (Skit) - You have to listen to this for yourself, I couldn't contain myself after hearing the end of this. It does a great job of leading itself into the next track which is you guessed it...

5. Nasty Mind (Everyone but Proof & Eminem) (Feat. Truth Hurts) - One of the tracks that simply keeps the album from it's full potential. And Kon Artis's verse is simply messed up, even for a person like me, who isn't easily offended (and trust me, It's Mission: Impossible to try and offend me). However Bizarre's hook is pretty funny for me and I still like repeating it in my head. Unfortunately, D12's most talented members are absent, which is one of the reason the song is pretty weak, given if they were on it, it might have been better. What a waste of a good Dre beat.

6. Ain't Nuttin But Music (All Members) - A very funny song that could've replaced Purple Pills as a single. It's essentially The Real Slim Shady Pt. 2 (Feat. D12). Kon Artis has a surprising but hilarious appearence on here. The instrumental is great on here as well. Eminem's verse had me laughing so hard on here as well. This is another great song to me as well.

7. American Psycho (Eminem, Bizarre & Kon Artis) - Dr. Dre comes by the studio to produce one of the best beats I've heard in a long time. This is another highlight off the album for me. Especially with the theme on here, this definitely fits Bizarre's flow on here. Eminem also manages to turn this dark snowstorm of a song into improv night at The Comedy Store. Kon Artis's verse gives me the creeps (in a good way) and doesn't mess around on this song. That's all to say here.

8. That's How (Skit) - The title pretty much explains itself. Intro to the next track which is pretty funny.

9. That's How (Everyone except Eminem) - This track show's how great D12 can be without Eminem. No offense, but to me, this album seems like another Eminem album with D12 as the guest of honor on here given he appears on almost all the songs on here. Nobody on here does a verse, rather than ad-libs ending with the phrase "That's How ..." This is a great song off the album as well.

10. Purple Pills (Everyone) - Boring. Next.

11. Fight Music (Everyone) - A song destined to pump you up during any fight. The music video is nice too, with it's surprise guest appearances, most notable, Will Smith since he does clean cut rap (which is still good). Bizarre's verse is pretty weak as well as everyone else's unfortunately (With the exception of Kon Artis) which means that only Eminem can save the song now. And He Does. You have to hear his verse for yourself, probably one of his best.

12. Instigator (Everyone except Eminem & Bizarre) - Rather than this being a D12 song, it's more like a Swift song featuring D12 (he handles the hook & 2/5 verses). Kon Artis verse is nice and gives Proof a funny intro into the song which is nice. The beat is nice as well and sounds like something that Dr. Dre could have produced. Too bad Eminem isn't on here, he would have pretty much made the album if he was on here, given it's already an excellent song. However, Bizarre wouldn't fit into a song like this AT ALL.


13. Pimp Like Me (Everyone) - Misogyny at it's finest. This is a pretty lengthy song for the album (5:57) but it's still a nice one but Bizarre's verse on here is pretty messed up. Eminem only handles the hook on here but Proof saves his song with his funny verse. That's all I can say for over here.

14. Blow My Buzz (Everyone) - This song is pretty nice, but These Drugs could replace this song ANY DAY. Each rapper drops a nice verse (most notably, Eminem's, but you saw that coming didn't you?) Funny thing is that the hook to this and the hook to Bust from Big Boi's Speakerboxxx sound EXACTLY the same to me. They're still great songs nonetheless. Good Song Overall.

15. Obie Trice (Skit) - The freestyle skit that brought Obie to fame.

16. Devil's Night (Everyone but Proof) - The title track does not disappoint at all. Each rapper drops a nice verse and Eminem starts the song of great for me and sets the mood, but the intro on here is way too long here and I wish it would hurry up. Bizarre's verse fits onto a song like this as well and is pretty funny, especially if you catch the Bow Wow reference on here. Great Song Overall.

17. Steve Berman (Skit) - Must I explain?

18. Revelation (Everyone) - The Pink Floyd sampling song is pretty nice on here and Bizarre drops another funny but messed up verse, Kon Artis describes his abusive family and Eminem, well you know that. Proof's verse really let's us hear him out for the first time, given he appears the least on the album out of everyone (9 times). The beat is nice and this is a great song of rebellion of anyone who hated their childhood experience at school. And just when you think the album has ended...

19. Girls (Eminem solo) - This hidden track pops up! I can't say anything about this song, other than it's a great diss and he's taking shots at Limp Bizkit and Everlast and DJ Lethal. This is probably one of Eminem's best diss songs. It almost sounds like Eminem drank a can of Penzoil while he was recording this.

The following are bonus tracks from the import edition..

1. Shit On You (Everyone) - This song isn't the best but it did pretty well for a single and I don't know why it didn't appear on the regular version of Devil's Night. Each rapper drops nice verses and I think this song is pretty messed up in a lot of ways (just in case the title didn't give it away for you yet)

2. Words Are Weapons (Eminem, Swift & Bizarre) - The best song from the bonus disk and I'll go as far to say that this is D12's best song. There. I didn't say it in caps either for the first time. That's how good it is. Each rapper's flow on here is great and everyone drops nice verses. This was originally on the 60 Minutes Of Funk Vol. 4 mixtape from Funkmaster Flex. Excellent song overall.

3. These Drugs (Everyone but Kon Artis & Kuniva) - This was the song that could have replaced Blow My Buzz and I still stick to that opinion. This is an excellent song for the type of song they were aiming at here. It's very psychedelic esque, and probably D12's 2nd best song. That came as a surprise to you I bet. D12's best 2 songs on one three-song disk. Who would've known. Now this is THE REAL END to the album.
The Final Word: Devil's Night is a phenomenal album (The import is even better) and any fan of rap would have the sense to buy this album and bump it forever and ever (that sounded very fairy taleish. And like I said, It's not only D12's best album, it's Eminem's best album as well. One of the best rap albums of the 21st century. That's all I can say here. Farewell.

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