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Get Your Issues Out

Eminem/D-12/Obie Trice

The anti-Semitism that often permeates T.S. Elliott’s work hardly diminishes his status as a major poet or prohibits him from being taught in your English class … so what’s the big deal if Eminem makes Hemingway read like a feminist and has some serious homophobic issues, a twisted Oedipal complex and is sadistic enough to make the Marquis himself sit up in his grave and, ah, take notice – it’s, like, art and freedom of expression, old-timer.

Come on, what’s not to love about Shady, he’s the best thing to happen on MTV since those three flannelled burnouts from Seattle wailed on their instruments during a post-apocalyptic pep rally while offering the most compelling salutation in rock history, “here we are now, entertain us.”

In short, Eminem is the most important artist, in terms of impact on America’s youth culture, since Nirvana (read column) – why Mr. Mathers surrounds himself with no talent thug scrubs like D-12, though, is more perplexing than Cobain putting a wedding band on crazy Courtney’s finger – oh, yeah, he was strung out on heroin.

Sorry Em, they might be your boys from Detroit and all but they’re less talented than a room full of Vanilla Ices. And Obie Trice getting his own billing means one thing, we’re guaranteed to hear”Drips” Saturday, the only weak track on the otherwise solid The Eminem Show.

Ludacris w/Disturbing Tha Peace

When not peddling Pepsi and Reebok, Ludacris is as misogynistic as Eminem, just far less witty about it. Ludacris is humorous, though, at times, and provides a nice soundtrack for a night out of chasing tail, if you’re the type to indulge in such activities and can approach such an evening with a straight face.

Prior to capitalizing on the Dirty South explosion of 2000, Ludacris DJed at a local Atlanta radio station. His big break came when he self-released Incognegro and “What’s Your Fantasy?” became a regional smash, leading Scarface – too bad he wasn’t joining the tour – to sign Ludacris to Def Jam South. Shawnna, Tittie Boy (nice sobriquet, moron), Fate and DJ Jaycee, aka Disturbing Tha Peace, will be joining Ludacris on stage.

Papa Roach

Papa Roach – what a crappy band name – has been doing the alt.metal thing since 1993 when they formed in northern Cali. Their latest album, lovehatetragedy, which was released in June, is more straight metal than the rock/rap hybrid they scored with on 2000’s Infest. The exception is “She Loves Me Not,” which still features some angst-ridden flow and is so far the disc’s lone hit single. In a recent press release, PR frontman Jacoby Shaddix had this to say about the song, “This is about my relationship with my lady, trying to hold that together. It’s been twisted and trying in the last few years, and I put my heart on the line about that here.”

Here’s a tissue, get the eff outta here, wussy boy.

The X-ecutioners

For all you disco biscuit eating, purple pill popping, bean heads planning on attending the Anger Management fiasco, fear not, there will be DJs there for you to blow up by. In fact, NYC-based The X-ecutioners are one the finest turntable groups in the country, as well as one of the first to be awarded a recording contract and release a long playing album. The X-ecutioners create their own tracks by cutting and pasting bits of other records, by hand, on the wheels of steel (no sampler, sequencing crap) They’ve a strong rep for putting on an exciting show so even if you’re not grinding your teeth they should still entertain.


Other than Eminem, the most skilled rhyme-slinger on the bill is fellow Dr. Dre collaborator Xzibit. Prior to hooking with hip-hop’s most successful Doctor, Xzibit made a name for himself as an underground rapper on the West Coast during the mid to late 1990s with the release of At the Speed of Life and 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz. Despite critical acclaim, neither release sold particularly well, but they did get the attention of Dre, who invited Xzibit out for the immensely popular 2000 Up in Smoke tour, paving the way for the success of Xzibit’s Restless, which was released that December.

Contact Wade Tatangelo at