It's nearly impossible to talk about D12 without mentioning him -- Eminem, that is. It's the curse of every rap clique who, after having an MC break out first, are relegated to being just "the crew." It's happened before: Tupac had Thug Life. Biggie Smalls had Junior M.A.F.I.A. And last year, Nelly introduced audiences to his St. Lunatics team. So it's fitting that rap's Great White Hope would have his own band of brothas.
Following the same path of debauched decadence as their star member, the men of D12 enthusiastically toss out a flurry of nihilistic, gleefully offensive jabs. Unlike Eminem, though, D12 jabs without conviction. They leave you more perturbed than punch-drunk.
The crew's debut, Devil's Night, is like an Ol' Dirty Bastard album without the loony charm. It's just another case of folks being shocking for the hell of it, which D12 freely admits. As one says at the beginning of the album: "We just like saying shit like that just to fuck wit'cha!" It would be nice, though, if these guys at least believed their own bullshit.