When you're rolling with Eminem and D12, no one doubts you're a little off your rocker.
That's why Promatic, the duo of D12's Proof and Detroit underground icon Dogmatic, wanted the first single from their self-titled debut to take a left-field approach.
Indeed, the cartoonish "Do What I Wanna Do," replete with spacey sound effects and theme music that would make Bugs Bunny proud, features the two talented MCs rebelling against their parents, twisting street slang and causing a tremendous amount of drama.
"It's on some silly sh--, just to do something different because everybody's on all that hard-core this and Cristal that," Dogmatic said of the first single, "Do What I Wanna Do."
"Even though the album is hard and it's got some definite street content, we didn't want to just come out like that. We just wanted to show the people something different first."
As different as "Do What I Wanna Do" may be, much of the rest of Promatic's album contains a similar brand of the bugged out, humorous, hard-core hip-hop that fans of Eminem and D12 have come to expect. Promatic are well aware that tripped-out songs such as "Lesbian" and "Ecstacy," as distinctive as they may be, will earn comparisons to the group that brought purple hills to hip-hop.
"You know we're going to get a little bit of that flack," Dogmatic said. "Proof is a real creative head within that D12 entity. When we do something, there's going to be a little of that flavor in there because that's Proof. We're all from the same fam and the same city. We're on the same crazy sh--."
Promatic touch on the human struggle, prejudice and police brutality on the thought-provoking "Life" and bring a controlled chaos to the rowdy club cut "Tear This Bitch Up."
Dogmatic and Proof pay homage to the Motor City on "City of Boom." Booming, Detroit slang for "hustling," has been a popular term in the city since at least the late 1980s. Promatic knew that this song in particular would give Detroit hip-hop fans a sense of pride and shed light on life in the Michigan city.
As much as Dogmatic rep for The D in their lyrics, they feel that the beats on their album, courtesy of the Sicknotes production team, really give fans a taste of what the city's vibe is like.
"The world has never really got a taste of what Detroit is really about," Dogmatic said. "They looked at the East Coast and then the West and then the South, but we're in the middle. We got influences from all of that sh--. When we do our music, that's just what it comes up as. There's so many different aspects of music that we listen to in Detroit."
Dogmatic and Proof connected on the streets of Detroit in the mid-1990s because of their love for music, especially hip-hop. Dogmatic, who released a number of recordings in the early 1990s as K-Stone, had a rep in the local market, while Proof was the host of the popular Hip-Hop Shop, an open-mic gathering spot that was frequented by Eminem, Royce Da 5'9'' and members of D12 and Slum Village.
Even back then Dogmatic was impressed with Proof's work ethic. "Proof was always an MC that was out there doing his thing," he said. "I was always spitting and at the clubs. Back in '94, '95 I had my little album out, but I was still underground. We clicked just being MCs in the club."
After recording a song together a few years ago, Dogmatic and Proof decided to record an album as Promatic. But it's been a stop-and-go, two-year undertaking, as Proof was regularly on the road either as Eminem's hype man or as a member of D12.
Now, with the Promatic album finally hitting stores, Dogmatic feels his city's music will finally get its proper shine.
"Everybody wants to know what Detroit really sounds like," he said. "Promatic, this is it. It's n---as spitting, all the craziness. This is what Detroit is. It's what conformed out of all that."