|Eminem||Marshall Bruce Mathers III||October 17th, 1972 St. Joseph, Missouri|
|Proof||DeShaun Dupree Holton||[October 2nd, 1973 - April 11th, 2006] Detroit, Michigan|
|Kon Artis||Denaun Porter||December 7th, 1972 Detroit, Michigan|
|Bizarre||Rufus "Nignag" Johnson||(Unknown by author)|
|Kuniva||Von Carlisle||December 10th, 1976 Detroit Michigan|
|Swift||Ondre Moore||(Unknown by author)|
|Bugz||Karnail Paul Pitts||[January 5th, 1978 – May 21st, 1999] Detroit Michigan|
Label: Shady/Interscope Records
D12 (also known as D-12, The Dirty Dozen, D-Twizzy and Detroit-Twelve) is a Detroit-based hip-hop group. D12 was formed in 1996 by DeShaun "Proof" Holton, the six-emcee posse achieved commercial notoriety and success after member, Eminem was picked up by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and singed to a joint Aftermath/Interscope deal. D12 were soon signed under Eminem's vanity label, Shady Records. As of 2008 the group are working on their third group album, untitled as of yet.
The Early Years
Proof formed D12 as a rap collective of local Detroit MCs including Bizarre, Eminem, Eye-Kyu, Killa Hawk, Fuzz and himself. The group was a loose collective in the vein of Wu-Tang Clan. The original concept of D12 was to have 12 of Detroit's most talented Rappers. However, when Eminem, Proof, Eye-Kyu, Bizarre and a few others who were members at the time, were unable to find 12 Rappers who were good enough, Proof decided in order to have 12, the then 6 members would create an alter-ego. Proof chose Dirty Harry. When Eminem found out Proof took that name, he decided on Billy The Kid. This was Eminem's first Dirty Dozen alter-ego. Eminem and Proof eventually decided to "fall-back" on the wild-west concept. At some point afterwards, most-likely early 1997, Eminem created the Slim Shady concept. Bizarre became Peter S. Bizarre. Kuniva became Hannz G., which later became Rondell Beene. Denaun became Kon Artis. Bugz became Robert Beck. During 1997, and continuing throughout 1998, several members began making names for themselves in Detroit. Bizarre was named Inner City Entertainment's "Flava of the Week". He went on to release an album called Attack Of The Weirdos and become an honorary member of The Outsidaz with Eminem, Rah Digga and Young Zee. Proof won a freestyling competition run by The Source in 1998.
Before the group had any success, Killa Hawk and Fuzz left the group due to various reasons. Fuzz in particular did not get along well with Proof (as stated by Eminem in his book Angry Blond). D12 went through many changes during its beginning stages - leaving only four official members: Proof, Bizarre, Eminem and Eye Kyu for a long while. Eminem then later left to pursue his solo career after being heard by Dr. Dre. D12 temporarily was over. Right about when Eminem got a deal, Proof decided to start D12 up again. Proof was set to find other local rappers to join the group. Proof managed to pick up local Detroit hip hop duo Da Brigade to join. Da Brigade featured longtime Eminem and Proof friend Kon Artis, who also produced Eminem's first album Infinite. The other half of Da Brigade was formed by local MC Kuniva. Kon Artis was just the producer for D12 at the time, but was later convinced to join D12 as an artist after his partner Kuniva decided to join the Dirty Dozen. Kuniva then introduced Bugz to Proof who later joined the group. Bizarre again joined, but Eye Kyu had decided not to. D12 were in need of one more member, until Bugz asked to have his long time friend Swift, who at the time was already a member of the rap duo Da Rabeez to join.
The first member of the group to achieve solo success was Eminem. After he recorded an independent EP called The Slim Shady EP in 1997 that caught the attention of famed rap producer Dr. Dre and Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine, and he was quickly signed to Aftermath/Interscope records. Eminem stuck to his pact, and Dr. Dre once stated that while making The Slim Shady LP, his début album, he kept insisting that he go back to sign the others. Dr. Dre told him to first establish himself as a solo artist, then go back for his friends.
In 1999 he released his hit début The Slim Shady LP and quickly rose to super stardom as The Slim Shady LP went on to sell four million copies in the United States. Having taken Dre's advice, he had established himself as a solo artist and decided it was time to gather his friends. As a way to establish D12, he created Shady Records under the Interscope imprint. He then made D12 the first act to be signed to Shady/Interscope Records.