Review Summary: Rape and murder, as groovy as ever.
Brotha Lynch Hung has been a driving force in the development of the horrorcore scene for the past twenty years. His 1995 full length début, the genre-defining Season Of Da Siccness
remains an indisputable classic for both horrorcore and underground hip-hop as a whole. Its misogynistic and bloody fascination with topics such as infanticide and cannibalism transfixed the ears of hundreds of thousands of listeners. Memorably, Lynch was held under fire by the rampant 90's trend of blaming musicians for the acts of their fans, after a man named Joe Gallegos killed three people in a violent spree. The media frenzy that followed undoubtedly helped to boost Lynch's sales and helped him become an influential force.
Although he maintained a steady discography following Season...
it grew weaker and weaker with each release. Some albums managed to chart and make good sales, and he became a wanted figure for feature spots, but overall his albums dipped quite below the quality of his début. This pace was changed when he was picked up by Strange Music (Tech N9ne) in early 2009. Dinner And A Movie
was his first release on the label and, more notably, his best record of the decade. With a concept that focuses on a serial-killer in the ghetto and the police attempts to track him down, the album covers the first of three segments. With this idea, Lynch crafts a truly macabre experience.
Lynch's rhythmic flow is fantastic. His skillful cutting up of lines and his varied forms of emphasis keep the songs kicking as they go by. There is a far larger focus on hooks than one would expect from this this type of cringe-inducing subject matter, but it works favourably with the production style showcased. While his contemporaries often fall into a pit of self-satire, Lynch is distinguished by his seriously disturbed but very much sober rhyming. The Psychopathic Records militia and Necro often fall victim to humour or being far too over the top. However, Lynch remains a compelling and strangely believable tour guide through his carnival of terror. The lines spat mix a believable narrative with violence and extreme perversion, resulting in some of the most disturbed lyrics you will hear in rap. Songs like Meat
and I Tried To Commit Suicide
serve as extreme ghetto-confessionals. The former speaks of not being able to provide for his son, and the latter speaks of his mother dying, his life aspirations, and putting a gun to his head. This type of subject matter is scattered throughout the album amidst the gruesome violence and debauchery. The result is a somewhat surreal experience; Lynch creates a blood-dripping, sin-filled atmosphere and storyline, and offers immersion in it with some more realistic notions. The album also benefits from its extensive showcasing of guest rappers. It features some of Lynch's long-time collaborators such as TallCann G and First Degree The DE, as well as big names like Snoop Dogg and Tech N9ne. All the rappers add their own unique takes on the crimes as the album pushes forward.
The heavy-handed production is managed partially by Lynch, as well as by a couple of Strange Music's household producers, most notably Seven (responsible for the production behind Tech N9ne's Worldwide Choppers
as well as other singles). The beats are phenomenal and they keep the album moving even during the longer songs. They also are a new sonic foray for Lynch, as Strange quite obviously has a more modern style of production than the underground, old school beats that Lynch has stood by for most of his career. The mood created in this time is one that is deep, eerie, and filled with thumping bass. Samples galore are to be found with guns, screaming and laughter being some of the occasional sound-clips to pop up in the background.
This is not an album for the weak of heart, and certainly not one that should be listened to for an attempt at intellectual or emotional gain. However, this album makes for one hell of a journey into a world of revulsion, and makes it a head-bopping ordeal. If cannibalistic diatribes ever serve to prove superiority, then Brotha Lynch Hung will most certainly be king.