What Is Horrorcore? It Began With Gravediggaz

We're already a handful of days into October, which means that Halloween is only a few weeks away. Musically, it's one of the best times of the year, because the songs surrounding the holiday tend to be either fantastically campy novelty tunes or genuinely scary hard rock and metal tunes. MTV Music's Halloween playlist covers both ends of that spectrum, from Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" to Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" to My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" to Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters." Each of these songs — along with "Monster Mash" and anything by a band fronted by Glenn Danzig — would make any Halloween playlist extra spooky.

But the one genre in the heaviest rotation this month should always be horrorcore, the short-lived, much-maligned gangsta rap subgenre that didn't last very long and produced very few memorable records. Tha Flatlinerz made one underrated album that was forever undone by a goofy video, Natas rarely got people outside of Detroit to listen and Eminem has only dabbled in it since the very early years (though his "3 A.M." is vintage horrorcore). But the best and brightest horrorcore career went to a supergroup called Gravediggaz, which brought together Prince Paul, RZA, Too Poetic and Frukwan. Their debut album, 1994's 6 Feet Deep, is an incredible concept album full of spooky beats and freaky imagery. The Prince Paul-produced "Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide" brings together a handful of great samples into a swirling, thumping stew that is just as scary as it is banging — something the Insane Clown Posse (and the rest of those dopey groups on their label) have never managed to accomplish.

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