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Marshall Mathers isn’t easy to upstage. From the moment Slim Shady entered our living rooms with the slow shuffle of “My Name Is,” complete with its sidesplitting video, his superstar prowess was well established. But when Eminem’s D12 crew returned in 2004 with the cheeky video for “My Band,” it was clear that another star was rising from somewhere near 8 Mile. Here’s a hint: He was the fat guy imitating 50 Cent’s famous upside-down sit-ups, and the one who stuffed his bulging body into a skintight green dress. But while Eminem’s music video shenanigans merely express his sense of humor, that chubby fellow — who goes by the name Bizarre — draws no lines between his weirder-than-thou performance persona and reality. And that’s what makes him so compelling to watch.

On his solo debut, Hannicap Circus, Bizarre chronicles his hard partying, heavy clowning lifestyle. He’s like an intoxicated Biz Markie, full of giddy, self-effacing wit, like on “Gospel Weed Song,” where Bizarre offers, “Havin’ a bad day? Stop by my house, ‘cuz most likely, I got a blunt in my mouth,” before unfurling a chorus where he praises God and Jesus for letting him live the high life. Later, on first single “Rockstar,” Bizarre claims he was a dancer for MC Hammer, then he rolls out “Bad Day,” a crafty parody of Ice Cube’s West Coast anthem “Good Day,” where he laments about his ass cheeks getting stuck on fishing line and inverts a certain legendary Cube line that involves putting someone’s ass to sleep.

Hannicap Circus is just as loaded with top-notch hip hop talent as it is with weed smoking, pill popping, and fat jokes. Eminem, Hi Tek, and EPMD’s Erick Sermon lend production talents, and guest MCs include Outkast’s Big Boi, Devin the Dude, Obie Trice, and, of course, Em and the D12 crew. Catch Bizarre, shower cap and all, out on this summer’s Anger Management tour.

Anger Management dates:

7/11, Tinley Park, IL (Tweeter Center) 7/14, Denver, CO (Pepsi Center) 7/17, Auburn, WA (White River Amphitheater) 7/19, San Jose, CA (HP Pavilion at San Jose) 7/20, Marysville, CA (Sleep Train Amphitheatre) 7/22, Chula Vista, CA (Coors Amphitheatre) 7/23, San Bernadino, CA (Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen) 7/24, Las Vegas, NV (Thomas & Mack Center) 7/26, Phoenix, AZ (Cricket Pavilion) 7/28, Dallas, TX (Smirnoff Music Centre) 7/29, Selma, TX (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater) 7/31, Atlanta, GA (HiFi Buys Amphitheatre) 8/1, Tampa, FL (Florida State Fairgrounds) 8/2, West Palm Beach, FL (Sound Advice Amphitheatre) 8/5, Bristow, VA (Nissan Pavilion) 8/6, Camden, NJ (Tweeter Center) 8/8-9, New York, NY (Madison Square Garden) 8/10, Mansfield, MA (Tweeter Center) 8/12, Detroit, MI (Comerica Park)

Links: Bizarre official site

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