Eminem has starred in steely odes to Detroit's industriousness before. But in his new video for "Detroit Vs. Everybody," he gets a wide crew of guest rappers to join him for a run around the Motor City.
Danny Brown, Big Sean, the fast-rising Dej Loaf, Trick Trick and Royce Da 5'9 all show up in this stark but potent clip for "Detroit Vs. Everybody" (language alert). The video's minimalist idea -- put rappers in their home city, and show off both -- takes on a fresh urgency given the sheer number of guests on display and the force of their personalities.
Rather than revel in Detroit ruin porn, however, the varied rappers -- Brown and Dej Loaf in particular -- lend a charge of excitement and potential to these decayed spaces, and their pride comes through like an engine roaring back to life.
The song came off Eminem's Shady Records compilation, "Shady XV," which wasn't quite so well received. Even compared to recent albums that mixed domestic-violence-themed redemption with '80s rock-ballad signifiers, that compilation was kind of a stinker.
But "Detroit Vs. Everybody" proves that the city still has no more powerful and populist musical ambassador than Eminem. Even if the city is being flooded with fine artists fleeing New York, and waves of mainstream dance fans discovering the pleasures of the Movement festival, there's a whole world of hip-hop musicians who have been there all along, and are quite ready to tell you all about it.