Esham Bootleg: (From The Lost Vault) Vol. 1

Esham is the man to whom Detroit artists like Insane Clown Posse, Eminem and Kid Rock all owe a debt of gratitude. If it wasn't for his creation of "acid rap," along with his group Natas, they would be on a completely different vibe. In fact, the Gravediggaz and horrorcore may never have existed if they didn't bite their sound from Esham. Now, it seems it is finally time for Esham to exit the subterranean depths of Detroit and make his name household known, thanks to the success of his fellow Detroit artists. Signing a distribution deal with TVT, Esham has released his first volume of previously unreleased songs with Bootleg, while Natas - his group with Mastamind and TNT - has yet another new release. A quick listen to either will reveal a common interest in rap-metal, similar to ICP, Kid Rock and Eminem. One listen will also demonstrate that ICP have a better sense of humour and Eminem has plenty more skills. In fact, even ICP's protégés, Twiztid, sound better than Esham or Natas. Much of this may be due to the fact that Esham chooses many played out samples to create his beats. Plus, artists like Cage, Necro and Eminem have more than upped the stakes when it comes to shocking audiences. Esham may be sliding, but his back catalogue should be coming out soon and will be worthwhile as a history lesson in "acid rap," especially for fans that are curious who influences their favourite artists. (TVT)