D 12 at Kool Haus, July 1. Tickets: $35. Attendance: 1,200. Rating: NN Rating: NN
it's hard to fault a thug rap group for being what they say they are. But who can take seriously a bunch of grown men singing, "I'm gonna shit on you," or better, "I don't wanna go to school."Keeping the audience laughing seems to be Eminem pals D 12's main goal anyway. They even brought out a guy dressed as a giant purple pill to beat up during their pharmaceutical-praising hit Purple Pills.
But throughout the set, it was difficult to distinguish between intentional parody and simple cliché. Were the 15 minutes spent instructing security staff which girls to pick out to bring backstage a joke? Or are D 12 taking full advantage of their newfound stardom?
No one was surprised when it was announced a few songs in that executive producer Eminem had been stopped at the border and would not be appearing. Yeah, right. When someone will only commit to "I'll try and make it out," you know he isn't going to be there.
Sad to say, Eminem's got better chops than his associates in D 12. Although the five-man rap team came across as well rehearsed and tight, and fans looking for schoolyard raunch and gun tales got their fix, his absence was noticeable.
The actual set length was shorter than the introduction, during which the number of times the audience was asked to "make some noise for D 12" was greater than the number of songs finally performed.
Musical comedy has its place, but do we really need a gansta rap Spinal Tap? D 12 might be better suited to a bill with KISS than sandwiched between drum 'n' bass DJs and turntablists.
And they'd probably get more groupies.