Horrorcore: Hip Hop’s Correlation With Horror Is Nothing New

From Chucky to Jason, hip hop and horror have a special connection.

When it comes to music and horror films, hip hop and horror go hand in hand, giving us the eerie, gruesome lyrics heard in horrorcore.

With Child’s Play hitting theaters today, it provided a moment to reminisce over how the horror genre influences music culture.

[jwplayer HhGSokqg]

 

Artists have always expressed their lyrical dexterity through vivid imagery and the alignment with slasher flicks has always been a natural progression.

Here are a few examples of when the two worlds of horror and hip hop collided beautifully:

Geto Boys, “Chuckie” (1991)

The late rapper, Bushwick Bill, embodied horrorcore with rhymes comparing himself to the iconic Chucky doll.

On the Geto Boys’ album, We Can’t Be Stopped, the song Chuckie is where Bill cemented his uncanny ability to paint a gruesome picture.

Weaving a world where the lovable yet sinister image of Chucky is illustrated through Bill’s own diminutive figure as the protagonist, he transforms the city of Houston into a nightmarish experience.

I told you size wasn’t sh*t that’s why I murdered your nieces,

Wasn’t my fault they found they head cut in 88 pieces.

Don’t let ’em run, hurry up and catch ’em,

You grab an arm, I grab an arm let’s pull ’till we stretch ’em.

My name is Chuckie, some say I’m insane,

You give me some gin, and I might eat a dog’s brain.

Gravediggaz, “6 feet deep” (1994)

New York underground supergroup, Gravediggaz, consisting of RZA, Prince Paul, Frukwan, and Poetic used the horror genre to tell stories about life in the ghetto.

The philosophy behind their name, Gravediggaz, was to dig graves for the mentally dead and resurrecting them from their state of unawareness and ignorance through music.

Songs like Defective Trip (Trippin’), satirized the idea that music was making kids kill themselves. Another track, 1-800-Suicide, exposed paranoia and mental anguish, while murderous courtroom confessions were explored in Diary of a Madman.

Big L, Lifestylez of da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

Harlem’s crown prince of rap will always be Big L, who was taken from the world too soon. His vivid imagery and poetic slang have lived on with many labeling him an early progenitor of the horrorcore genre.

Songs like All Black and Danger Zone are full of gory murders and much more.

 

Three Six Mafia, Mystic Stylez (1995)

The trio from Memphis blazed a new trail in horrorcore music with a menacing pulse that carried the listener through a dark and scary ride.

Juicy J, DJ Paul, and Project Pat’s usage of satanic imagery and drug dazed perspectives keep hip hop listeners in the nineties on edge.

Ripping piano and synthesizer melodies right out of horror movie scores, the group took you right back to that dark place the movies had you in.

They sampled Brainscan and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare while trading verses that either invoked the Antichrist or tried to bring about the apocalypse.

 

From Kool Keith and the Insane Clown Posse, to Brother Lynch Hung and Tech N9ne, hip hop artists and horror are intrinsically linked, and the culture has been better off for it.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.