D12 - Devil's Night: For those that didn't know, D12 was a poppin' Detroit hip hop crew, consisting of rappers Swifty McVay, Kon Artis, Kuniva, Bizarre, and Proof, in the late 90's that Eminem occasionally rolled with (he even has some guest appearances on their very first project, The Underground EP). As a group, they all made a pact that whoever would be the first to blow up in the mainstream would come back and bring the others to fame. Devils Night is the culmination of that promise, as Eminem was the first to blow up out of the 6 members and helped D12 get their own deal with Interscope. Something interesting to note is that even though Eminem was at most an auxiliary member of the group before his own fame, he appears in some capacity on nearly every track on this album, with his presence also being the most prominent out of the 6 members. For those that found The Marshall Mathers LP offensive, this album is essentially an even bigger and louder "Fuck you!", as the crew plays around with misogyny, homophobia and violent/sexual humor to an even greater degree, making sure to leave no group of people un-offended in the process. However, there is a never-vanishing aura of levity surrounding this project that was not always present in Eminem's solo efforts (such as on tracks like Marshall Mathers andKim), which might make this album easier to digest than SSLP or MMLP, depending on who you are. Either way, this is unequivocally some great and fucked-up music that probably would have never seen the fame it had if made today (word to my SJW's). Without this album, we wouldn't have Odd Future (Tyler even shouts it out at the end of The Odd Future Tape), which means we wouldn't have Wolf, Ego Death, or I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside. Think about that. Some bumpin' tracks on this are Shit Can Happen, Ain't Nuttin' But Music, and That's How. SHAWN
GZA - Liquid Swords: Aight its tha god and im back kicking knowledge to yall and teaching the truth to the youth namsayn that what i'm all about word to your mother. So, last week I was talkin bout my man ODB. Now I'm moving on to the Genius, namsayin thats GZA. As many of said before, if wu-tang came together like voltron, then GZA is undoubtedly the brain. Strictly within the Wu, I'd probably put GZA down as the stylistic opposite of ODB. Whereas Ol' Dirty is chaotic, unpredictable, and explosive in his style, GZA is cool and calculated with his lyrical styles b, word up. Everything reeks of precision. Everything is meticulous. GZA is probably the most talented lyricist in Wu-Tang. For everyone who doesn't know, peep this little write up he did called "The Lost Art of Lyricism." It's nothing less than ill.
GZA is a wordsmith. From referenceing at least 40 different record labels in the song 'labels' to cleverly crafting lines like "criminal subliminal minded rappers find it/ hard to define it, when narrow is the gate/ for fat tapes, then played out and out of date/ then I construct my thoughts on site to renovate" (living in the world today) which boasts so many internal rhymes its ridiculous. These complex rhyme schemes juxtaposed against his monotonous voice make you pay attention to what he's saying all the more. Its reminiscent of DOOM, or Guru of Gangstarr (RIP).
What's more is how thematically consistent Liquid Swords is. It sports this dark, ominous but almost mystical vibe. As if you were living in some kung-fu horror film (do those even exist? holler at ya boy if you find one) Each track is riddled with chanbara film sound bytes like Lone Wolf and Cub (peep that shit) all while throwing out extended metaphors on philosophy and chess, and boxing. Shit is tight. Living in the world today, Cold World, Labels, and 4th chamber are ill. JAISON