It’s the holiday season once again, and with this weekend being home to the bloodiest and sluttiest costumes our repressed society can muster, many DJs are wondering ‘What appropriate rap music can I play?’ Since most suggestions online are rife with horrorcore-jocking Flatlinerz-apologists (yes, such people exists) or suggestions like “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” which, since ‘it wasn’t even close to Halloween,’ is the equivalent of playing “In da Club” on somebody’s birthday*. Therefore, here’s three tracks you can throw on that’ll not only be a monster mash, but a fullblown graveyard smash!
Esham – “Morty’s Theme”
Unfairly pigeon-holed for his affiliation with the gimmicky horrorcore rappers he inspired, Detroit’s Esham is one of rap’s great unsung heroes. Fiercely independent since the late-80s, he’s made his brand of entirely self-produced “Acid rap” that’s seen him cross the globe several times over and even get dissed on the most successful rap album of the past decade. While I think Esham’s 2001 album Tongues is his masterpiece, I’d like to instead focus on his song from the soundtrack of the 1994 direct-to-video horror film The Fear. Distributed by A-Pix Entertainment (Uncle Sam, the killer snowman movie Jack Frost and just about any horror movie on VHS with a hologram cover) The Fear boasted an entirely-horrorcore lineup, hoping to cash-in on the success other independent films were having with all-Grunge soundtracks. Esham seemingly made the unique choice to do a theme for the antagonist without first watching the film, as the song not only has nothing to do with what happens on-screen but Morty himself is given a shrill voice despite being completely silent for the entire film’s duration.
Gravediggaz – “1-800-SUICIDE”
Every Halloween, every rap blogger worth his weight in wax-candy writes about how great the Gravediggaz are, and for good reason. The side-project collaboration between Wu-Tang’s Rza and Prince Paul (the best De La Soul album, and probably two or three of your favorite rap albums too) joined by Poetic, who possessed one of raps most unique voices, the outfit followed the grizzly grotesque themes and made a great, horrifying album. Originally titled (and released overseas as) Niggamortis, Gravediggaz’s Six Feet Deep makes for essential Halloween listening.
Earl Sweatshirt – Drop
15-year-old Earl Sweatshirt’s debut album EARL and its corresponding video is probably the greatest thing I’ve seen all year that doesn’t involve the word “magnets.” An absolute rhyme virtuoso, he’s not only a child prodigy who understand the basics of rapping, he’s mastered them. Here’s a solo cut off of his crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’s mixtape Radical where things get dark, but with the smile and comedic timing of Pennywise.
Yes, this exists.
So until next time…let’s agree to agree!
*I want to say this thought was a Noz-ism, but I don’t remember so I’mma play safe and say “maybe.”