Thank Ganksta N-I-P and the Geto Boys
for the creation of horrorcore. Thank Insane Poetry
for defining the style's sound and lyrical themes. And thank Run DMC
's Jam Master Jay for helping the style get mainstream attention. While Run DMC never produced a horrorcore track in their entire career, Jay was the one responsible for getting the Flatlinerz a record deal with Def Jam Records, who released the Linerz' sole album to date, U.S.A.
(Under Satan's Authority).
Tempest da Undertaker
The Flatlinerz, along with guests like Redman
associate Rockwilder and the Headless Horsemen, keep pretty much the same lyrical themes going throughout, with lyrics about haunted graveyards, demonic possession, Satan, sin and murder. Brooklyn and East Coast hip hop also get a shout-out on a few tracks, like "718", and somewhere along the raps about witches and ghouls, there are a few pot-smoking references here and there. The familiar David Koresh reference and dropping of "666" and psuedo-religious undertones also get a spot.
uses sound to good measure. The music here is as much hip hop as it is the soundtrack to an unseen horror film. Slow, dark synthesizer melodies, menacing beats, and jazz samples are built into a memorable - and spooky-sounding record. There is some impressive-sounding fast rapping here, laced with the occasional metal-esque shouting.
What's odd about this record is that the Flatlinerz were actually met with quite a bit of controversy when they debuted. After releasing music videos featuring the members rapping from inside graves or the nooses of ropes, and when the media picked up on the Satanic references scattered throughout the album, a ***fire of controversy emerged. Compared to the Geto Boys, however, this is pretty tame stuff. No doubt there's plenty of spooky rhymes throughout this record, but it's only the worst thing the mainstream had ever heard until that point. Since then, Eminem
has rapped about far more disturbing things.
This is Halloween rap, pure and simple. (The Flatlinerz had a comic book and movie deal that also fell through.) It's too over-the-top and cartoonish to be truly frightening to most adults. But the music here is cool for a Halloween party. That's the kind of record this group set out to make, and that's what they deliver. Who would take an album with lines like "witches, dead zombie bitches" that seriously? But it's a fun record.
The Flatlinerz actually resulted in the formation of the Gravediggaz
. Prince Paul formed the group out of spite towards Russell Simmons, who owed him money. The combining force of De La Soul
's master producer with members of Stetsasonic
and Wu-Tang Clan
resulted in a significantly better album, 6 Feet Deep
, which was actually completed and released before the Flatlinerz' album. Flatlinerz member Redrum had an appearance in Abel Ferrara's vampire movie, The Addiction
, and recently reformed the Flatlinerz with new members.