Local Wire


Fifty years from now, when some young rapper's delivering Eminem's introduction speech at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, he or she will no doubt celebrate Marshall Mathers' nearly unparalleled knack for conflating the comedic and the tragic. Maybe the Hall will even screen 8 Mile with a group of elementary school kids signing the dialogue. The members of D12, Em's Detroit-based group, won't be so lucky: If they somehow finagle a Hall of Fame spot -- and they might as well, considering the institution's hollow imprimatur -- their distinction will likely be for Best Confusion of What's Funny with What's Actually Incredibly Depressing. The bulk of D12 World, the group's follow-up to 2001's Devil's Night, comprises the most pointless, worthless hip-hop you'll hear this year: virulent misogyny, senseless violence, hopeless nihilism, often delivered over Eminem's infectiously bouncy beats, so the endgame sounds like a harmless round of Ping-Pong. "Just Like U," which actually features a group of elementary school kids on the hook, might be the worst, and D12 knows it: "When Mos Def hear this he probably gonna suffocate me," Bizarre raps. That's hilarious; little else here is.