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LARS at the Shelter, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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LARS is nothing less than a meeting of two Detroit rap heavyweights.

The group pairs Bizarre from D12 with horrorcore veteran King Gordy for a cheerfully irreverent rhyme fest that’s culminated in the duo’s just-released debut album “Last American Rock Stars.” Separately they each have storied histories and reputations; together they’ve created something new, and different, for both. And Bizarre tells us has LARS has legs that will take it well into the future...

• Bizarre (nee Rufus Johnson), 42, says by phone that he and Gordy “have been friends for, like, 10 years now. We always wanted to do a project together, but we were busy -- I was working on my solo stuff and D12 and he was working on his solo stuff and Fat Killahz. Finally we got enough time to do it and went for it.”

• The pair actually demoed some songs five years ago, according to Bizarre, but the material “sounded kinda rushed.” Pairing with producer Five Mile last year helped bring LARS into focus. “Maybe like a year ago (Gordy) told me he had found this producer, this kid from southwest Detroit,” Bizarre remembers. “I did and he had some pretty fresh, grimy beats that inspired us and gave us a sound and theme for our album. Once we did, like, four or five songs in an hour in his basement we just thought we’d finish the project.”

• LARS’ collective personality is “something different” for both Bizarre and King Gordy. “Everybody expects stuff that’s super-crazy and way out there, so we wanted to show people that we can be versatile,” Bizarre says. Among the most surprising tracks was “I Believe I Can Fly,” produced by Bizarre’s D12 groupmate Denaun Porter. “Gordy’s talking about getting shot five times and surviving, and I’m talking about growing up with asthma and going to the hospital, like, every week” Bizarre says. “We kinda got personal on that song. Nobody had ever really heard that from us before.”

• In addition to LARS, Bizarre is working with Twiztid’s Magik Ninja Entertainment on a reality TV show that will feature him “going around to bizarre festivals in the world, just having fun there and participating -- like mosquito eating contests, cow (dung) throwing contests. You look around and there’s a ton of ‘em. It’s still in development, but it’ll be a lot of fun.”

• D12 has been inactive since group founder Proof died during 2006. But Bizarre says that “antyhing’s possible. If it happens it’ll be up to Mr. Porter and (Eminem), whenever they’re ready for it to happen. If they call me, I’m there do it.”

If You Go


• Friday, Feb. 23. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $5.

• Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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