It is easy to dismiss D12 as a bunch of clowns that used to run with Eminem but in so doing you would be making a mistake. These guys help mold one of the best hip-hop artist of all time. Hate him or love him Slim Shady’s record sales numbers drop him amongst the greatest musicians to ever live. Add that to the fact that Eminem is one of the most skilled rhyme-spitters to ever grip a mic. Undisputed.
Maybe you all need to be reminded of the story. D12 was originally 6 dudes. In order to make up the dozen each member took on an alter ego. Bizarre became Peter S. Bizarre, Bugz became Robert Beck, the late Proof became Dirty Harry, Kon Artis took on the name Mr. Porter, Kuniva became Hannz G and Eminem gave birth to the adorable insane character Slim Shady. Em went on to not “Give a F***” and change the world. His boys were left on the ground as a star must rise alone. But the skill level that these cats still possess remains at a level at which is Eminem and all Slim Shady stands for. They are in fact just different versions.
So I would think the origin of a person with Eminem sized accomplishments and the crew that helped him get there would have some value or garnish some interest. Unfortunately this has not been translated into success for D12 and the show last night at Motel reflected this. The night was highlighted by 3 pleasant surprises.
Now what is a Vancouver hip-hop show with out Vancouver hip-hop to warm up the crowd. KANABLISS & DANGEROUS W/ RHYMISTS! acted as the local primers for the show’s first coat. They put on a energetic performance. I am not familiar with them but the crowd seemed into it.
The crowd was surprisingly young and sparse — I eyeballed about 230 in attendance. The Motel was the first pleasant surprise; a really great venue for an intimate show. They even have a 270 degree balcony for audience members that don’t want to battle a crowd and don’t mind a birds eye view. The sound system was crystal clear as well. Thumbs up to Motel live shows. Surprise #1.
Tre-Nyce was surprise #2. I had heard buzzes about him and I know he is a Battle Axe records artist. But I didn’t know he was actually dope. Tre took the stage and the strength of his flow was evident. Dude can hit it. He put on an energetic performance and got the crowd jumping for D12. Check out a freestyle from Tre.
The moment D12 hit the stage the frenzy frequency of the room raised three levels. They performed with the comfort and ease earned from being accustomed to simmering in the middle of a cypher or battle. Looking at the stage all I could see was the movie “8 Mile“. If only we could rewind time and watch this same show but with Eminem and Proof there. That would be something spectacular.
Crowd favourite Bizarre came out rocking a red shower cap and a t-shirt with a baby strapped into front belly baby strap like the guy from The Hangover. D12 carved their way through their tracks bouncing around with pockets pouring with swag.
The highlight of the show for me was that they did not rely on their main stream tracks to carry the show. When they performed “Purple Pills” perhaps their most successful commercial track they only did a piece of it. While when they did “Fight Music” they did all of it – less the Proof and Eminem parts of course. The show was a open mic showcase of their skill; freestyle sessions and puffs of verses shared from their tracks. Brilliant.
D12 really surprised me. These guys are dope. I mean really dope. I guess I am just as guilty as everyone for underestimating the members of a crew that could produce a Eminem. Of course they would be dope, skilled, confident and put on a wicked show.
Surprise #3 actually shouldn’t have been a surprise at all. It is a shame that very few people got to see it. If you love hip hop, take my advice, next time D12 comes to your city or even a city nearby, go!
All other photos are mine.
- Kon Artis (Rapper) (socyberty.com)
- Eminem Signs Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf To Shady Records (mtv.com)
- Yelawolf on Eminem, Southern Hip-Hop, and Tattoos (spin.com)
- Did Eminem Have The Best Year Of His Career? (newsroom.mtv.com)
- A Look Back At Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″ (current.com)
- Pattinson’s rap shame (hollywood.com)
- Eminem’s homecoming (nationalpost.com)