As I continue to expand the content that is written on this site, I am trying to think of new ways to introduce fans of the horror genre to new things. Things that still heavily involve the type of imagery and imagination they already love, but may be in the dark about… no pun intended.
My love of horror quickly spread to things other than film, at a very early age. I was heavily into hard rock and heavy metal, so discovering that there were bands that used horror elements in their music was amazing to me. Take that same idea and spread it into a completely different genre and the game is changed forever.
The combination of horror and hip hop is not a new idea by any means. Artists like the Geto Boys and Detroit emcee, Esham, were delving into the evil side of rap as long ago as the late 80’s. That evolved even still, into different styles introduced over the years from many more artists, including the Gravediggaz, the Flatlinerz who coined the term “horrorcore,” the west coast’s Brotha Lynch Hung, and, perhaps most infamously, Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse.
These few artists weren’t the only ones expanding on this idea, however. Fast forward a few decades and horrorcore hip hop is still a genre that loyal underground fans support, on a few different levels even.
Below is a list of five albums that came out in 2018 that deserve a listen by any horror and hip hop fan that may still be missing out on this wicked rap movement. It isn’t necessarily a “best of” list and I’m not saying that there aren’t many other choices available. On the contrary, these are just a few of the titles worth checking out.
“The Almighty” by Alla Xul Elu
The boys in Alla Xul Elu aka A.X.E. have been at it for a few years now, but they really began making bigger waves earlier this year. Freshly signed to a an independent label, run by longtime “wicked shit” heavy hitters, Twiztid, A.X.E. finally hit a larger audience. Everything from the creepy masks donned by all three members — Joe Black, Billy Obey, and Lee Carver — to their terrifying lyrics, just scream pure horror. Hell, they even got horror film icon, Bill Moseley, to do the intro to the entire record, kicking the 20 track horror opus off right.
“The Almighty” is available on CD and digitally at all the normal spots, iTunes, Spotify, etc. It has also just been announced that in February, the album will be released on vinyl. The vinyl version will be available with a few different covers and color options, as well. There is no excuse to not check this album out, as clearly you have plenty of options at your disposal.
“666ix: Chapter 3” by The Flatlinerz
I can’t make a list about 2018 horror albums dropping and not mention a group that had a huge influence on the genre’s “rise” in the early 90s. These horrorcore veterans made their return to the scene a few years ago, having already dropped numerous releases since then, including of course a re-release of their debut 1994 album, “U.nder S.atan’s A.uthority.”
While the newest album isn’t their strongest work, it is still a beautiful thing to see these guys making and releasing more music. I always wondered what happened to the Flatlinerz all those years ago and now I get to hear new music from them pretty regularly.
“666ix: Chapter 3” features 10 tracks with a short runtime of only 20 minutes. This is a perfect reason to throw the album on the next time you take a drive to work or to a friend’s house. There is no better way to start the morning than by listening to some rap legends spit some dark rhymes.
“Gores Truly” by Razakel
The fellas aren’t the only ones that can make horrifying music. Female rapper, Razakel, has been releasing records in this genre for over 10 years now and is one of the most respected artists still making music for the underground fans today.
One of the hardest working horror artists out there, Razakel not only released “Gores Truly” this year, but also a collaboration album with another female rapper, Jenocia X, titled “Sisterhood of Wretched Decay.” If that wasn’t enough, an extended version, aptly titled “Gores Truly: Extendo,” was later released with 8 brand new tracks added to the already 37 minute runtime of the album’s original rendition.
Of course, this album is available on Spotify and I believe other digital outlets. For all physical media lovers out there, both versions are also available on CD, as well.
“The Boom Bap Blood Splat Horrorcore Back Pack” by Komatose
One of the most anticipated albums of the year by horrorcore loyalists, “The Boom Bap Blood Splat Horrorcore Back Pack” does not disappoint.
Komatose is another one of these artists that has been around for well over a decade, releasing some of the most horrific music known to the genre. As one half of the group, Kryptik, who first released an album almost 20 years ago, Koma quickly set himself apart from the pack with his skills and dedication to his craft.
“BBBSHBP” is a true breath of fresh air in the horror hip hop community with its do-it-yourself feel and very apparent love of the style. The album features 18 tracks and is over an hour long, so there is plenty of content to digest here. Songs based on real-life atrocities, posse tracks, and horror twists on old school influences like Sugar Hill Gang and N.W.A. are all found on this record.
Be sure to pick up your copy. Again, whether you own it digitally or physically, you will not be disappointed.
“The Notorious Goriest” by Necro
For nearly three decades, this Brooklyn emcee has been aurally assaulting fans from around the world. With some of the most brutal lyrics I’ve ever heard, it’s a wonder that he has become as big as he has. Are there really that many of us twisted people out there?
Arguably the most well-known on my list, Necro also happens to have the most “street cred” amongst true hip hop and heavy metal fans alike. Hell, he’s released an entire album with rap legend Kool G Rap, and has songs featuring vocalists and musicians from some of metal’s biggest bands — Voivod, Obituary, Nuclear Assault, Sepultura, Testament.
“The Notorious Goriest” is Necro in his truest form. No guest features or collaborations whatsoever, you get 20 tracks of pure, unfiltered, unbridled brutality. I truly believe that this NYC native can rip anyone apart verbally while being very deep in R.E.M. sleep. “Murdering you is like riding a bike…” For him, nothing could be truer.
The fact that we got a new Necro album this year still blows my mind and I love every single grotesque line the man utters on each track. Be sure to pick it up now or at least give it a few hundred listens on Spotify.
Give any or all of these album suggestions a listen and let me know your thoughts on what you found. Are you just learning about these artists and their respective album releases or have you been listening to all of these records for months already? Sound off in the comments below!