D12 - D12 World
The gift and the curse; Jigga knew it, D-12 knows it. Their friend and group member is the biggest rapper on the planet, it has gotten them a deal on a powerhouse label, a mult-platinum album, Dr. Dre production, and a huge shadow they are unable to step out of. Sure they are a hell of a lot better than the respective crews of other rappers, but they've done very little to differentiate themselves. Proof is dope, Bizarre is terrible (but nonetheless sticks out on every track), but the other three might as well be the same guy. That's what "My Band" is all about right? They know it so I shouldn't use it as a point of criticism right? Well no, cause it is a major drawback of the album.
We might as well start with the king of D-12 World and its biggest attraction. Whether it be his bananas (fo-fana) flow on "Git Up" or his razor sharp rhymes on "6 In The Mornin," he continues to sound better with every verse. He steals the show on the sinister Dre banger "American Psycho II," just listen to him keeping the 'screw loose' reference right through the verse. Check the breath control he flexes on "Baby" and "Git My Gun." When things get topical, in the case of "How Come," estranged friendships, Em shines as expected. He isn't the only one though as they prove they can go beyond the typical shock antics. This is further proved on their ode to Bugz "The Good Die Young." It is songs like that why I don't question their talent, just their execution. "Git Up" is another example of everyone being on their games.
Unfortunately, there are too many moments of mediocrity that drag the LP down. "Loyalty" starts off pretty strong but gets boring quick. Things get even worse as Bizarre butchers a nice Hi-Tek beat on his solo cut "Just Like U." Other tracks like "I'll Be Damned" and "U R The One" are best described as the same ol' shit. They even manage to butcher Kanye's beat on the uninspired title track.
Aside from a handful of standout verses, the album really only goes as far as Eminem and the production takes it. Thankfully, his verses are jaw-dropping and the production is pretty good all the way through. I have no doubt they can do better though.