When people think of the fusion of the horror genre and music, they typically go to various subgenres of heavy metal and hard rock. Death metal is filled with typically gory and vicious lyrics, black metal often contains themes of the occult and Satanism, and even when the lyrics aren’t explicitly horror related people have a tendency to think other subgenres of metal are “scary.” That’s all well and good, but there’s more to horror music that overdriven guitars and double bass pedal drumming.
One of my favorite styles of music is horrorcore. Horrorcore is a fusion of gangsta rap with horror lyrics. Originating the late 1980’s, horrorcore rose to popularity within the hip hop community with artists like Geto Boys and Three 6 Mafia. Throughout the 90’s a plethora of horrorcore albums were being released by artists all over the country. After fizzling out, Tech N9ne’s album “Anghellic” released in 2001 helped give birth to the modern horrorcore movement. What follows in this article is my top 5 favorite horrorcore albums. This isn’t a list of the best horrorcore albums, but just my favorite. I’ll also include a recommended song from each album. If rap typically isn’t your thing, I encourage you to at least check out the songs I link below. Maybe it’s time to take a step out of your comfort zone and experience horror through another medium.
5. The Pre-Fix For Death – Necro
I’m not sure if this album would find its way on most horrorcore album countdowns, but I must include it in my rankings. This is the album that first introduced me to the concept of horrorcore (although Necro likes to refer to his music as “death rap”). Necro’s songs are basically like Cannibal Corpse lyrics put to a hip hop beat. All in all, very enjoyable for fans of rap who also find themselves to be gorehounds.
4. Mystic Stylez – Three 6 Mafia
While most people would consider the Memphis based rap group Three 6 Mafia “crunk” (a term the group themselves coined to describe their sound), their earliest released couldn’t certainly classify as horrocore. None of their earlier albums are better than the 1995 release of Mystic Stylez. There is an unebelievable creepiness throughout this album, with hip hop beats over haunting piano and synth melodies. The album also samples from horror soundtracks, including Brainscan and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
3. 6 Feet Deep – Gravediggaz
Gravediggaz are a horrorcore supergroup, consisting of Prince Paul (The Undertaker), Frukwan (The Gatekeeper), Poetic (The Grym Reaper) and RZA (The RZArector). Their debut album 6 Feet Under is a tour de force of horror rap. Horror themed lyrics interspersed with questions regarding the higher truths of life make this album not only wildly entertaining, but a tad bit philosophical. All in all it is fantastic.
2. U.S.A. – Flatlinerz
In 1994 the rap trio from New York, Flatlinerz, released their only album, U.S.A. (acronym for Under Satan’s Authority). Even though it was their only album, it remains a horrorcore masterpiece. The album is significant in the history of horrorcore, because it is the first album to actually coin the term “horrorcore.” There is so much on this album that is just plain scary, and I believe no song displays that more than “Satanic Verses.” It also has one of the coolest music videos:
1. Season of Da Siccness – Brotha Lynch Hung
We’ve reached the number one album on the list, Brotha Lynch Hung’s masterpiece Seasons of Da Siccness. Are you looking for a fusion of G-funk and horror lyrics? Look no further. Brotha Lynch Hung is very unique. He basically sounds like Snoop Dogg’s evil cousin. With unmistakable West Coasts beats creatively intertwined with terrifying melodies and murderous lyrics, Brotha Lynch Hung displays the pinnacle of the horrorcore genre.