Back in September, we first heard about Detroit Rubber, the LOUD channel web series produced by Eminem‘s Shady Films team. Since then, we’ve done plenty of speculation about the series, going as far as calling it the key to LOUD’s potential renewal by Google. The series has now debuted, with the first episode featuring several illustrious guest stars.

Detroit Rubber follows the shoe-related exploits of Burn Rubber, a Detroit-area sneaker boutique run by Rick Williams and Roland “Ro” Coit. In the first episode, Tigers slugger Prince Fielder gives the pair a nigh-impossible task: acquire a pair of Air Jordan Retro 4 Eminem Encore sneakers; only 50 pairs of the shoe exist, and to find a pair Rick and Ro must pay a visit to Em himself.  “The guys from Burn Rubber represent what Detroit Hustle is all about: passion, pride and hard work,” said Eminem. “We’re excited to show the world what they’ve created here in The D.”

Detroit Rubber is thematically similar to LOUD’s Ben Baller’s Insane Bling series, which also features the foremost expert in a popular hip-hop industry completing highly complex requests. That series center’s around Baller’s magnetic personality, and Detroit Rubber features a similar vibe. Despite the presence of a legendary rapper and a charismatic ballplayer, the sneakerhead stars of Detroit Rubber carry the series. Rick and Ro bring joyous, fun-loving, passionate attitudes to their craft, and their exuberance makes Detroit Rubber one of LOUD’s best series so far. I’m curious to see how the series can top such a dynamite first episode, but given Burn Rubber’s infectious charm, I don’t expect Detroit Rubber to get any worse.

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