Label: Interscope/Shady
Producers: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Denaun Porter, Scott Storch, DJ Head, Jeff Bass, Mike Elizondo, Luis Resto
Features: Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, Truth Hurts, Dina Rae, Rondell Beene
Sales: 2x Platinum

Despite the commercial success of D12's debut—most often attributed to fans willingness to buy anything with Eminem's name attached to it—is an underrated album. Even if you choose to fast forwarded through all of Proof, Kuniva, Swifty McVay, Bizarre, and Kon Artis' contributions, Devil's Night features some of Eminem's best 16s. Riding high off the huge success of The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem's rapping is more confident than ever, here was an artist at the height of his powers.

 

Riding high off the huge success of The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem's rapping is more confident than ever, here was an artist at the height of his powers.

 

Thematically and stylistically, Em picks up where MMLP leaves off. But since he isn't labored with carrying an entire song, his verses are laced so tight they're simultaneously effortless and intricate. "Ever since I spit some shit/On Infinite/I been giving it/A hundred and ten percent," he says on "Shit Can Happen." And yet, strangely, Em is absent from the best song on the album, "That's How," where all the other group member take turns telling stories in four bars. Like this one, from Kuniva: "Choking your wife all in front of your peeps (bitch!)/She toss a brick through the window of your Jeep/Get back together by the end of the week, that's so sweet/(Slim and Kim argue too much.)"

The thing is, as overshadowed as they'll always be by Em, the rest of the D12 are perfectly solid rappers. Especially Proof and Swifty. (Kon Artis has also had a successful career as a producer, under the moniker Mr. Porter.) These guys have a lot to say, even when they're not just speaking of the devil. —Insanul Ahmed