D12 – Three Grammys, two Source Awards and 14 million records later (at the time), Eminem continued to exceed expectations. Over 20 years ago, Eminem officially introduced the world to five more of Detroits wildest wordsmiths via his new imprint, Shady Records. D12, a.k.a. Dirty Dozen (Proof, who has since tragically died, Kon Artis, Bizarre, Kuniva, Swifty, plus the Shady one himself), made their red carpet debut with Devils Night in June 2001.

Named after the notorious night before Halloween in which the city’s relentless youth run amok, Devil’s Night features Eminem and company tearin’ mics over production from Dr. Dre, DJ Head, Kon Artis and Eminem.

Raw and rambunctious from the outset, D12 includes Eminem and five of his Motor City closest friends who, like him, double up on their personas in order to unleash more energy: Denaun, a.k.a Kon Artis; Big Proof, a.k.a. Dirty Harry; Swift, a.k.a Swifty McVeigh; Kuniva, a.k.a. Rondell Beene; and Bizarre, a.k.a. Peter S. Bizarre.

The six-man crew met seven years earlier at Detroits Hip Hop Shop, a local hangout where emcees of all calibers would gather to drop a verse or two during the stores open-mic sessions. Still unknown, Eminem had stepped to a local producer, Kon Artis, to come up with some beats for Eminems indie release Infinite. Meanwhile, word about the ill white boy was getting around to another of Detroit’s most notorious emcees, MC Proof. The two squared off and instantly gained respect for each other.

Most members of D12 had already established themselves throughout hip-hop’s underground segment by 2001 with their respective solo careers. Bizarre independently released his debut EP, Attack of the Weirdos in 1997. Swifty was earning his stripes as one half of the BMG/Mecca Don Records recording artist, Rabeez, while Proof released the indie singles, Searchin and Anywhere.” Instantly finding a common bond with their outrageous subject matter, the assembled forces honed their skills under the alias D12 (six members x two personalities = D12).

While all members made their debut on Under the Influence, off the Marshall Mathers LP, the world got an official full dose of D12 with their first release, Shit On You, a sinister, off-the-wall tirade featuring the production skills of DJ Head.

Their debut album Devilsnight was released in April 2001 and reached the top 10 in the USA and the United Kingdom. 

D12 / Dirty Dozen

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