Mix: The Shadows of Memphis

Someone on a forum once asked if it was perpetually Halloween in Memphis (not including the actual quote here due to its less-than-subtle coded racism), referring to the oppressive, gloomy, even disturbing atmosphere that was laid to so many inches of tape by many of the artists in this selection, among others. One could spend their entire life studying the complex 90s Memphis hip-hop scene and its stylistic or cultural impact, and this fascination with the gritty and the macabre is just one facet of those formidably creative artists’ work that survives in modern trap and other subgenres. This is the first of several Halloween-themed mixes I’ll be posting over the next few weeks (I am attempting to salvage at least some of the holiday spirit that seems to be dead-on-arrival this year), and combines my favorite examples of actual horrorcore—hip-hop that is legitimately scary or unsettling (ICP fuck off), and not always in a confrontational way—both classic and contemporary.

00:00. Blackout – “Mission of a Murda” from Dreamworld (Snubnoze Muzik, 1995)

04:44. Lord Lyrico – “Hell Made Me w/ ayeisaac” from Heartbreak & Savages (self-released, 2017)

07:27. Graveyard Productions – “Lookin for a Murderer” from The Havoc (self-released, 1994)

10:51. JAK3 – “Vulture (feat. DJJT & Outby16)” from Moonlight Radiation (self-released, 2019)

13:13. MC Holocaust & DJ Akoza – “Time 2 Brutalize” from Products of da Undaground (DOOMSHOP, 2017)

15:42. Lady Bee – “Mask to My Face” from Strictly for That N***a (Gimisum, 1994)

19:47. Orange Juice Click – “Homicide” from Gangsta Tales (self-released, 1994)

25:10. Lo Key – “Wassup Now” from Test My Nutz (Street Smart, 1994)

29:41. Slim Guerilla – “Morgue 12 Gauge” from Blue Light Cemetery 2 (self-released, 2020)

31:21. Koopsta Knicca – “Crucifix (feat. DJ Paul)” from The Devil’s Playground (self-released, 1994)

35:24. Krone – “////AMMONIA//// (feat. EVILLAIRE)” from XRK NeBULA (self-released, 2019)

37:43. The Buttress – “Ratcatcher” (demo) from My Name Means Heavy (self-released, 2016)

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