DMA Performers

Proof, Kon Artis, Swift, Kuniva and Bizarre founded the Dirty Dozen nearly a decade ago. Now Eminem is part of the crew and D12 is ready to spread their love of "Tha D" with "Devil’s Night," expected to drop in June. The 14-track CD features production work by Eminem, Dr. Dre and Rockwilder.

Legendary Motown songwriter Barrett Strong has penned some of soul’s most well-known tunes ranging from "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Just My Imagination" to "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Money (That’s What I Want)," the first big hit for a Berry Gordy label. Strong, who heads up Southfield’s Blarritt Records, released his solo effort "Stronghold II" in early 2000.

Johnnie Bassett and the Butler Twins carry the torch for a dwindling but powerful generation of Detroit blues artists. Bassett has earned 10 W.C. Handy Award nominations during his six-decade-long career. Clarence and Curtis Butler have been honored with a Detroit Music Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Blues Society and had a chart-topping record in Europe in recent years. They'll be joined by vocalists Valerie Barrymore and Thornetta Davis.

The Atomic Numbers and vocalist/pianist Tim McHugh take Cheap Trick-inspired rock, a little Fender Rhodes electric piano and a frenetic live show to create a fresh, dirty pop sound. The band’s debut album, "Electromotive," released in 2000, earned comparisons to a "punk-rock Crowded House." A new album is expected this summer.

Keyboardist/vocalist Chris Codish has graced the stage with top-notch Detroit blues artists, including Johnnie Bassett, but the nine-times-nominated Brothers Groove put him in the forefront. Blending the humor of Frank Zappa and the funk of Medeski, Martin and Wood, the group quickly joined the cream of Detroit’s crop.

Singer-songwriter Lisa Hunter has adopted a full-band sound for her latest release "Awake," a collection of captivating, refreshingly honest tunes about life as a young woman. Don’t expect Lilith Fair sweetsy-pie music however. Hunter, who began playing guitar while working as a forest ranger in Yosemite National Park, has guts.

Intuit-Solar artist DJ Assault (Craig Adams) has been spinning and rhyming since he was 12. In 1996, he founded Electrofunk Records, and the two became synonymous with "ghettotech," dance music that incorporates techno samples and popular word phrases. His "Mixpilation" CD has piqued the curiosity of Rick Rubin and American/Sony.

Sean Deason started his career as a music-industry graphic designer, but he spun his way into Detroit’s third generation of techno producers. Kenny Larkin and Richie Hawtin introduced Deason to the recording studio. Since then, he's formed Matrix Records and debuted his show at 2000’s Detroit Electronic Music Festival.

Rapper Alley Life releases his self-titled major-label debut in May, but he’s no newcomer. Since he entered the hip-hop arena in 1985, Alley Life has released an album annually. Nearly 15 years later, CEO Jimmy Iovine signed him to a deal.

Hell hath no fury like three chicks torn from the trailer park and punk delirium — that's the self-description of punk/metal/pop trio Broadzilla. They made a big enough impression among 80 bands at Canada's 1997 Spiderland Acres Punkfest that they were invited back to headline in '98


Kiff Vanden Heuvel, who hosts Second City’s Improv Jammers on Wednesdays, is heading up MC duties at the Detroit Music Awards. Besides co-writing and performing in Second City productions, he has been featured in radio and television commercials, industrial films and movies including HBO’s upcoming "61*" directed by Billy Crystal. Guest MC's Shawn Hadlon, Pj Jacokes and Lisa Maxine Melinn are from Second City-Detroit. Second City has been regaling local audiences since 1993, and they'll rock your socks off at the Detroit Music Awards.

Mahindi Masai and Detroit Drum Warriors are dedicated to keeping alive and expanding the traditions of African-world drumming. Featuring Masai, Djallo Djkate, Kito Pardo and Greco Freeman, the Drum Warriors perform ceremonial, educational and entertainment functions. Masai, has traveled the world while studying and collecting instruments for more than 25 years.

About The Author

Metro Times Staff

Since 1980, Metro Times has been Detroit’s premier alternative source for news, arts, culture, music, film, food, fashion and more from a liberal point of view.
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