Pitch'd 

MY NAME IS RAVE

As reported in last week’s metrotimes.com edition of Pitch’d, a Detroit rave promoter has secured rapper Eminem – the 313 rap underground’s most conspicuous graduate – for Em’s first hometown appearance since the his current ascension to MTV poster-boy status and the resulting platinum-shipping, Dr. Dre-endorsed, Interscope-Aftermath debut LP Slim Shady. The Easter weekend rave party, to be called, appropriately, "True Masters," will see Eminem headlining along with Federation Records buddies Bizarre and Da Ruckus in a live hip-hop set, DJ performances by Brooklyn hard techno favorite Frankie Bones, a tag team set by Miami Bass king Magic Mike and DJ Rectangle, and Chicago hip-hop-style junglist Danny the Wildchild. At first, promoter Ty Manica’s chances were as slim as they were shady when he met with some resistance from the rapper’s management and booking agent, who balked at the idea of the chart-topping rapper playing an underground party. Manica then reminded them that Slim Shady makes at least two references to rave parties – presumably Detroit-based – and, after some bargaining, a contract was signed last week. "I’m trying to make it a reunion-type thing," said Manica. "He’ll be there at a Detroit underground party with his boys (Da Ruckus and Bizarre), instead of just by himself in front of 4,000 kids who expect him to be like his video."

When reached for comments on the rave reference on his LP, Eminem – set to embark on a brief European tour to hone his live show – said only, "Well, I like rave drugs." Advance-only tickets for "True Masters" will be available after March 29th at Record Time, Changes and Groovy Train.

STRANGE DAZE

Back on the Detroit rap homefront, resident lunatic MC Bizarre has just completed work, along with Eminem, on New Jersey-based underground hip-hop supergroup the Outsidaz’ new record, due out this spring on Ruffhouse-Columbia. "It’s strictly street-type stuff combined with skills," says Bizarre, who cut his verses in New Jersey just last week. Bizarre now plans to concentrate on Even Weirder, his full-length follow-up to last year’s Attack of the Weirdos EP, featuring guest appearances by Eminem and other fellow Outsidaz. "It’s not gonna be your average local album," says Bizarre. Look for it this summer on Federation Records.

Bizarre is also set to join Eminem’s spring tour with the Beatnuts for six dates. Detroit audiences can check out Bizarre live this Saturday at Eastpointe’s Wired Frog (Gratiot, N of Eight Mile), when he joins Ohio’s MHz – a rapper signed to New York radio DJ’s Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito’s Fondle ’Em Records label – as well as Detroit jazz-flow rappers Third Kind and Binary Star, among others. More info: 810-495-9500.

As for the post-Eminem rap scene, now facing the glare of major-label A&R types looking to the Detroit hip-hop scene for new talent, Bizarre candidly offers this assessment: "I hope his success’ll help. But it also means everybody’s gotta get their stuff in order and get that stuff tight and get out there and go to the conferences and make it happen like Em did."

DA HOUSE OF BLUES WREKKAZ

Meanwhile, just a few weeks after Eminem’s record release party at Hollywood’s House of Blues, Detroit’s Da Ruckus "wrecked the House of Blues" as DR’s MC Hush took a turn at the mic as part of a Cypress Hill-Soul Assassins benefit concert at the Hollywood hipster spot last Sunday. Performing alongside LA rappers such as Defari and Dilated Peoples before Cypress Hill’s surprise appearance, Hush deviated from the Latin-flavored "Spanglish" rap style of the night, letting loose with a verse of his Dee-troit flow. "That bitch went off the hook," he beamed of his out-of-leftfield style. Da Ruckus was in LA talking to Shaquille O’Neal’s Twism label.

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