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Horrorcore (also known as death rap, murder rap, acid rap and wicked shit) is a subgenre of hip hop music that evolved from pioneers such as Necro, Kool Keith, Insane Poetry, Gansta NIP, Esham, The Flatlinerz, KGP, Brotha Lynch Hung and The Gravediggaz.

The term "horrorcore" was coined by Russell Simmons, the man behind The Flatlinerz, who referred to horrorcore as being "hardcore rap with some horror movie themes". Horrorcore artists often have ties with rock music, specifically heavy metal and hardcore punk.



Horrorcore lyrics contain many different subjects. There are usually two "branches" of horrorcore lyrics, the serious branch, and the humorous branch. The serious branch deals with issues in life including crime, murder and poverty, among other things. The humorous lyrics can be about any topic, but mostly murder, psychopathics, sexism and so on, but with a humorous approach. There is also a fictitious branch, with lyrics that are a mix of serious and humorous, or of strongly fictitious nature, such as the occult, satanism, and so on.


Many horrorcore performers wear makeup, a fashion popularized by Psychopathic Records and the Insane Clown Posse. Some follow in the steps of the aforementioned group by using clown-themed paint, while others try to create their own style, often being a mix of clown makeup and black metal corpse paint.


Though some horrorcore rappers become widely known (e.g. Insane Clown Posse), most horrorcore record labels, acts, and artists rarely sell over a few hundred records (with the exception of Psychopathic Records). It has a lot to do with the fact that many people may be appalled by the lyrics, and that the topics being rapped about are still taboo (e.g murder, necrophilia). Alternatively, it could be suggested that such heavy-handed lyrics and predictable subject matter are not shocking at all. In this case, low sales could be blamed on a lack of promotion and an overall amateurish presentation which would not be enough to hold the attention of a mature audience.

Debate on terminology

Many believe "wicked shit" and "horrorcore" are the exact same thing while others feel there is difference enough in styles to differentiate between the terms. Many artists come up with their own labels for their music, such as Shy One, who claims his music is "rap/mystic/horrorcore" whereas most people would simply call it "horrorcore". Never the less, there is much debate over the two terms, as you will see if you browse wicked shit/horrorcore forums.

"Acid rap" is a term coined by rapper Esham (The Unholy). His sole reason for giving his music the title of acid rap was to distinguish himself from other horrorcore and hardcore rappers. Esham also stated that his music is like "taking a drop of acid", and that is why he named it such.

Many rappers invent their own terms for the genre in order to distance themselves from the "stigma" of horrorcore. Necro coined the term "Death Rap". Gansta NIP uses "The Psycho Style". Brotha Lynch Hung calls his style "The Rip Gut Cannibal Shit".


Apart from the pioneers and influential figures of the Horrorcore genre mentioned in the lead paragraph, other notable performers of this genre are: Lo Key AKA Lokevelli, Madd Maxxx, Stitch Mouth, Tha Wikid One, Relapze, Temple Rain, STRAY, IcePick WiLLie aka Kemosabe , bOb e.NiTe aka II Rel aka Franky Frank, Q Strange, SyCkSyDe, Midwest Suspex, Mr. Kilt'cha aka Travisty aka Captain Trippz , Ensizon, Majik Duce, Sinister X aka PBM, Menacide, J-Philly, Chamber, Nizos, Meathead aka Jo Jo, ClaAs, Shy One, Terminal Illness, Judge Cryptic, TBMA, Ca$hroll Criminalz, Fury, AmoralPhat40oz, Bio Killaz, Castro the Savage, Halfbreed, The R.O.C. aka Sol46, Skrapz, Project:Deadman, Bedlam, Creature C, 2DIRTE, Kreepy X, Raven Hunter, Cyanid3, Ice-Pic, SlinK DoGG, Preacher X, Bio Killaz, GH, Bulletproof, Tha Candyman, Pointblank, Mista Creepy, ULoGee, Body Bagz, and Grossiss.


In similarity to slang-names, Horrorcore is also the label used by Hardcore punk fans to describe their brand of Horror Hardcore, which is simply Hardcore Horror Punk.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.