By Chris Moriates

Daily Bruin Senior Staff

Members of the rap group D12 and their entourage allegedly
attacked underground rapper Esham and a member of his group NATAS
on the Vans Warped Tour after Esham’s Aug. 3 performance in
Philadelphia, sources said.

Both D12 and Esham were asked to leave the tour.

The two Detroit rap groups have publicly exchanged fighting
words through their song lyrics. Esham’s song “Chemical
Imbalance,” which he performed during his set at the Warped
Tour, refers to Eminem’s daughter, Hallie Mathers.

Eminem is a member of D12 though was not present at the tour at
the time, according to D12′s statement. Kevin Lyman, CEO of
the Warped Tour, was unavailable for comment.

While one witness said members of D12 and their entourage
attacked Esham, D12 declined to comment beyond their statement that
“an incident occurred backstage at the Warped Tour, spurred
by D12′s concern for the safety of their guests.”

In a phone interview the day before the incident, Esham talked
about the tension between the groups.

“We go and support other groups’ acts and talk to
the fans, but (D12) all just stick together like a platoon,”
Esham reported. “Be a man, not a bitch. We ain’t
walking around the Warped Tour with a thousand
bodyguards.”

According to Adam Russell, a representative for Esham, both
groups had been warned that they would be kicked off if there was
an incident.

“Even though he was warned, Esham doesn’t really
understand why he was kicked off, because he wasn’t in the
wrong,” Russell said.

Brian Curran, road manager for the group Switch, said he
witnessed the event. According to him, the attack occurred in the
backstage bus parking lot after a large blue bus pulled a U-turn in
the lot and headed toward Esham’s bus.

“I thought that it was strange because buses don’t
usually drive through that area, but I didn’t really think
much of it,” said Curran, who was standing a few hundred feet
away from the buses.

“The bus stopped and about 30 or 40 guys ran out toward
Esham,” Curran said. “When I saw it I was like,
“˜Oh my God.’ I didn’t know what was going on, but
it was like 30 versus two.”

Esham was taken to the nearby West Jersey Hospital. Esham
suffered a broken nose, ruptured eyeball, mild concussion and a
loss of hearing in his left eardrum, Russell said, adding that
Esham is currently at home and will be all right.

Esham said before the incident that Eminem was one of the people
most involved with creating the feud.

“For the most part, it’s not all the guys (of D12).
It’s Eminem and DeShaun Holton talking shit,” Esham
said.

According to the “Pit Report” on the official Warped
Tour Web site, Esham’s performance the day of the attack
included the rapper jumping on D12 CDs while yelling “fuck
D12 and fuck Eminem.”

With reports from Kenny Chang, Daily Bruin Contributor