Friday, February 24, 2017

Craig G's Infinite Playlist, The Final Chapter: Craig G Does Horrorcore?

I've only covered an album or single that I don't own on this blog three or maybe four times over the years, and it feels weird every time I do it.  But I'm doing it again, because I just had to include this one in my Infinite Playlist series.  Craig G's horrorcore song.  Now, Craig has flirted with horrorcore before.  He's theoretically on intro and outro of The Gravediggaz first album (though I've never been able to pick out his voice).  And years later, Prince Paul actually put out a Gravediggaz song with Craig rapping on it called "Don't Be Afraid Of the Dark" (off the promo-only version of Gold Dust).  But Craig actually kicks his verse about New York City cops, and really the whole song's about racism; plus it's always it's debatable whether Gravediggaz should ever have been filed under horrorcore at all.

But here's a guy for whom there's really no debate.  Richard Gein, a Texas "death rapper" who presumably named himself after the serial killer Ed Gein.  I don't know; I'm not gonna front like I've heard of him before.  But looking him up, he's got eight full-length CDs on discogs and even more on his bandcamp (and if you're interested after reading this post, physical CD copies of this album's seem to still be available directly through his bandcamp).  I've been going through a lot of his online catalog for this write-up and he's got kind of a put on, deep voice and a simple, direct flow.  His production is kind of slow, atmospheric sample-heavy stuff.  He pretty much sounds like what you'd expect someone with those album covers to sound like.  Think of a low energy Necro, or maybe more accurately Willus Drummond as inspired by Esham.  He's far from the latest generation's Rakim, but for horrorcore fans starved for material, you could do worse.  Shock value is really what's for sale here, and if you're looking for whole albums worth of songs like The Geto Boys "Chucky," Gein aims to deliver.

So Gein seems to have been doing this for years, developed a following, and it's only natural he'd start to pull in some guest verses, right?  Besides Craig G, he's also had Thirstin Howl III, Insane Poetry, Killah Priest and Prince Paul on his projects.  But we're here for Craig, and his song appears on what I think is Gein's... fourth? album, Killin Sluts from 2010 on Ruler Why Recordings.  Ruler Why is one of Gein's main producers, and that includes this song.  It also features another rapper named Blazey, who's one of Gein's labelmates and actually has a much smoother flow.

The song's called "Un-Optimisitics," which all you old school heads should get right away.  It's a quote from Craig's verse on "The Symphony:" "this jam is dedicated to all un-optimisitcs that thought I wasn't comin' back with some exquisite rhymes," and yes their DJ cuts that up for the hook.  So Craig G, a DJ cutting up classic Marley Marl records, you might think maybe this is a more generic, non-horror-themed outing for Gein.  But nope, it goes all out, and the fun part is, so does Craig G.  When he starts out, he sounds like he might be doing some regular Hip-Hop with just a little violent imagery, like MC Shan's "Hip-Hop Roughneck" or something, but he winds up going all in.

"Make a wrong move for that mic? We split your spleen.
Half of Craig G, the other half of Richard Gein.
Rappers run for cover every time we hit the scene.
We seal off all the exits so that nothing gets between.
Then we start slashin', sounds like cars crashin';
The way that your bones break is done with all passion.
Missin' Persons 10 O'Clock News is broadcastin';
'Cause of our killing spree, there's tons of lost action.
Ted Bundy, Buffalo Bob, you know Gacy.
Follow your favorite rapper's girl outta Macy's;
Snatch her in the back of a van, attachin' her hands
To the cuffs, then the blade's right in her guts.
I carry duct tape; the quiet don't allow screamin'.
Take her to my dungeon, give her somethin' to believe in.
Cyanide in her IV, I get psycho; her eyes closed,
She lost her motor skills like Bret Michaels."

Holy crap, Craig G wrote that?  I never thought I'd see the day.  The first half, maybe, but by the time he got to "the blade's right in her guts," I was like wowww.  Of course ending with that punchline feels like classic Craig, but the rest is a trip.  I think it's pretty cool that Craig was enough of a sport to play along and dive right into Gein's milieu, and I'm sure he was happy to prove once again how versatile he is.  And you know, if Craig G ever released a horrorcore album, I would buy that crazy thing.  This is why it's worth digging through Craig's "Infinite Playlist," because there's no telling what you'll find.  You think it's all gonna be a bunch of soundalike, east coast underground backpack rap, but no sir.

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