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What Went Right With Presents… The Top 13 Horrorcore Hip-Hop Songs For Halloween

A countdown of the top 13 horrorcore hip-hop songs by - an image of a pumpkin with a hollowed headphone shape

Whether you’re Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Atheist, when it comes to Halloween most of us can’t help but get into the spirit of the festivities. Once you’ve carved your pumpkins, got your costumes on, laid out your sweets and snacks, got your horror movies selected, it’s time to enhance the mood by playing some ghoulish songs. If you’re at a loss for musical accompaniment this year, here’s some Horrorcore Hip-Hop to get things going – thirteen eerie songs that put the “ill” into spine-chilling…


“The Haunted House Of Rock”

By Whodini

Let’s start gently with this classic 1983 track from the Hip-Hop trio Whodini. Now before you point it out, yes I know “The Haunted House Of Rock” isn’t strictly “Horrorcore” since that term wasn’t coined until the ’90s, but let’s ignore that and give respect to one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop whilst acknowledging that the ’80s included some horror-inspired rap too…


“Satanic Verses”

By Flatlinerz featuring Headless Horsemen

After a year or so of East Coast Horrorcore bubbling on the underground scene, The Flatlinerz was an attempt by Def Jam to muscle-in on the burgeoning sub-genre. Def Jam’s CEO Russell Simmons unleashed his nephew Jamel Simmons aka Redrum along with band members Tempest and Gravedigger, and the trio released their album “U.S.A. (Under Satan’s Authority)” in September 1994. Even though the LP was disappointing overall, this particular track was one of a handful that were pretty decent. Featuring fellow Horrorcore group Headless Horsemen, “Satanic Verses” was one of the tracks on the LP that didn’t sound contrived and was actually quite atmospheric…


“Hell Sent”

By B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e

Before Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rose to fame they were an up-and-coming group called B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e. What did “B.O.N.E.” stand for you ask? Well, “Beatin’ On Niggas Everyday”, and even though their original moniker and album were both unrefined and loutish, this stand-out track from their first LP (which featured a sample of the theme from “Phantasm”) was a perfect introduction to the group’s original devilish double-time sound…


“X Is Coming”


DMX’s debut album contained a heady mix of mainstream and hardcore music, and it was great to hear some varied content making it to the top of the charts in the late ’90s. This particular song was one of Darkman X’s more explicit offerings especially with the reference to rape, and with lyrics like “Plucked you like a chicken with your head cut off, they’ll find you with your back open and your legs cut off” this was a memorable joint from “It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot”…


“Meat Cleaver”

By Brotha Lynch Hung

Brotha Lynch Hung has been making Horrocore music for years, ever since his début album “Season of the Siccness” he’s remained a consistent devotee to the sub-genre. His talent for blending horror with Hip-Hop has become more potent over the years and in the ’00s and ’10s he has released many brilliant examples of violent, cannibalistic, serial killer inspired, horror-obsessed Hip-Hop. “Meat Cleaver” is one of the rapper’s best examples with man-eating lyrics like “Better let the cops know, I keep more meat than they keep at Costco’s”


“White Slavery”

By Ill Bill & Necro

Necro, if you don’t know has been faithful to Horrorcore Hip-Hop since his first album “I Need Drugs” and with around two decades in the business he’s now become synonymous with the sub-genre. This particular song features Necro’s brother Ill Bill of Non Phixion and together they create a great, macabre tale of human trafficking, prostitution, torture and snuff…


“When Winters Going”

By Jus Allah

Jus Allah, an ex-member of the Hip-Hop group Jedi Mind Tricks always brings strange and creepy lyrics to the table and this song is no different. This particular track is taken from his album “M.M.A. (Meanest Man Alive)”, it may be short but thanks to Jus’ marvellous lines such as “Love means nothing to me, my life’s like tennis”, this makes for a great song. With its sample from “Winter’s Going” by Bonnie Dobson and its darkly surreal lyrics, this is a fantastic choice for Halloween night…


“Apartment 223”

By Dr. Dooom

One of Kool Keith’s many personalities, Dr. Dooom was a fantastic character created by Keith Thornton of the Ultramagnetic MC’s. Taken from his 1999 album “First Come, First Served”, the song “Apartment 223” features some macabre yet surreal content from Dr. Dooom, a serial killer with a penchant for cannibalism…


“Dead Body Disposal”

By Necro

Like I said before, Necro, a full-time Horrorcore rapper is one of the foremost artists of this Hip-Hop sub-genre. When he isn’t mixing explicit sexual content with violence he’s usually bringing the masses undiluted tales of murder. “Dead Body Disposal” is a fantastic song which acts like a step-by-step instruction manual for uninitiated serial killers. With intermittent samples from Guy Ritchie’s film “Snatch”, Necro tells the listener exactly what to do when you’re left with a dead body…


“Devil’s Son”

By Big L

One of the first examples of ’90s Horrorcore Hip-Hop, this song by the late great Big L was banned from the airwaves because of its explicit and violent content. Because of this, “Devil’s Son” didn’t even make it to L’s début album and that makes it all the more sought after. Sampling Nas’ line “When I was twelve I went to Hell for snuffing Jesus” from “Live At The Barbecue”, this song was a fantastic mix of comedy and horror from the Harlem MC…


“The Horror”

By Dark Skinned Assassin

A classic single from the Wu-Tang affiliate Dark Skinned Assassin, this song features three separate narratives; from sexually transmitted disease, abortion, to rape and suicide, it even references the movie “Nightmare On Elm Street”. This brings back memories of rugged mid-nineties Hip-Hop from the East Coast and the chorus of the song is simple yet brilliant, this is a great yet forgotten Horrorcore track…


“Five Arch Angels”

By Sunz Of Man

Another Wu affiliate, Sunz Of Man was a super-group made up of rappers Hell Razah, Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn, 60 Second Assassin, and Shabazz The Disciple, and they became known for mixing horror, biblical references, apocalyptic scenarios, with East Coast Hip-Hop. This particular song never made it onto their début album but was an underground smash back in 1995. Shabazz The Disciple steals the show with his verse which contains lyrics such as this: “This is a journey through the halls of Hell, a journey that’ll burn he, and all who dwell. The wicked, afflicted, condemned, and convicted, imprisoned in darkness, where men are heartless. Absolving darkness, ’til your fire is spark-less. Drag him down in the tabernacle by his Adam’s apple. And suddenly, the angels of death attack you, the power witnessed by martyrs of degrees. Calcium absorbed, by evil dead babies!


“Diary Of A Madman”

By Gravediggaz featuring Shabazz The Disciple & Killah Priest

The greatest Horrorcore Hip-Hop song of all time has to be “Diary Of A Madman” by The Gravediggaz. From their ground-breaking début album “Niggamortis”, this is an example of the group’s unique brand of horror, storytelling, and rugged Hip-Hop, and this particular song features not only RZA and Frukwan of the Gravediggaz but also Shabbaz The Disciple and Killah Priest of Sunz Of Man. Taking the form of a court case, the song is brilliantly constructed and Shabazz once again steals the show with his opening verse. His lyrics are simply brilliant: “Bear witness as I exercise my exorcism, the evil that lurks within, the sin, the terrorism. Possessed by evil spirits, voices from the dead, I come forth with Gravediggaz and a head full of dread. I’ve been examined ever since I was semen, they took a sonogram and seen the image of a demon. At birth nurses surrounded me with needles, and drugged me all up with the diseases of evil”

Mwah ha ha ha ha!


9 replies »

  1. This is only the third article you’ve done that I disagree with .


    How is there no Esham or Insane Clown Posse on this list ??

    Those artists embody All Hallow’s Eve . I’m glad you put Necro and B.L.H. on your list . I wouldn’t put “White Slavery” as a good example of a Necro track on this list . I think “Circle Of Tyrants” featuring Mr. Hyde , Goretex , Ill Bill and Captain Carnage would have been a better choice .

    I would have included the tracks “The Juggla” (from where the term “Juggalo” originated) , “Ol’ Evil Eye” (inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe story “The Tell-Tale Heart”) and “Boogie Woogie Wu” by Insane Clown Posse .

    I would have included “Red Rum” and “666” by Esham .

    Also another old school track would be “Amityville (The House On The Hill)” by Love Bug Starski from 1986 .

    Here are some Wikipedia references for the songs and albums I mentioned :

    • There’s around 50 songs by various artists that didn’t make it to this list for whatever reason, here’s a few of the ones that didn’t make it…

      “Nightmares” by Dana Dane
      “Are You Ready For Freddy?” by The Fat Boys (from the Nightmare On Elm Street 4 soundtrack)
      “Spirit” by Doug E Fresh And The Get Fresh Crew (from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack)
      “Mr. Ouija” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
      “Death 2” by The Flatbush Zombies
      “Repentance Day” by Killah Priest, Grym Reaper, and Hell Razah
      “1-800 Suicide” by Gravediggaz
      “Mystic Styles” by Three 6 Mafia
      “Deja Vu” by Killah Priest
      “White Nightmare” by Jus Allah
      “Introduction” by Voodu
      anything by 100X or Madstyle

      …blah, blah, blah.

      It’s impossible to satisfy everybody with a “top 10 list” – there’s hundreds and thousands of something that then has to be condensed to 10 (or 13 in this case) – what are the odds?

      This list was varied in terms of style, release date, content, but whatever.

      By the way, I’ve deleted the opening paragraph regarding Canibus and also your comment about Noel Fielding. It’s not good for SEO for unrelated keywords to appear within an article, so if you disagree with my point of view about Canibus or Noel, leave your reply under the relevant article.

    • Some of those tracks are hardcore hip hop . Jus Allah , Sunz Of Man , Shabazz The Disciple , Killah Priest , Flatbush Zombies (alternative hip hop mostly in this case) , DMX , Voodu of Western HemisFear (could be classified as underground , alternative or West Coast Hip Hop) and Big L (Rest In Paradise) are hardcore hip hop artists . Alternative , independent or underground could also be used to describe them . With the exception of DMX . All of those guys have rapped about violent , horrific or macabre subjects , but I wouldn’t classify them as horror core rappers . Esham , Insane Clown Posse , X-Raided , Twiztid , Blaze Ya Dead Homie , Boondox , Project Born , DJ Clay , Liquid Assassin , Kung Fu Vampire , Evil Pimp , Insane Poetry , R.O.C. ,Twisted Insane , Sutter Kain , Prozak , Reznik , Rhyme Asylum , King Gordy , Axe Murder Boys , Anybody Killa , Mars , Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko are largely horror core based artists . Like B.L.H. , The Flatlinerz (when they were together) , The Headless Horsemen (when they were together) , The Gravediggaz (when they were together) and Necro are . K-Rino , Jus Allah , Cage , Vinnie Paz , Canibus , Diabolic , Scarface , Willie D , Bushwick Bill , Apathy , JuJu Mob , Reef The Lost Cauze , Block McCloud , Shotty Horroh , Pumpkin Head (Rest In Paradise) , Vanilla Ice , The Wu-Tang Clan and all their various affiliates (Rest In Paradise O.D.B.) , Copywrite , R.A. The Rugged Man , Bone Thugs , Three Six Mafia , Celph Titled , Eminem , Big Pun (Rest In Paradise) , Freddie Foxxx , Onyx , Mash Out Posse , D12 and Hopsin border on horror core . Although they have more diverse subject matter . Rest In Paradise to Lord Infamous , Bugz , Proof , Koopsta Knicca , Poetic and anyone else I forgot .

      Old school rappers like Kool Keith , The Geto Boys , Love Bug Starski , The Fat Boys (Rest In Paradise Buff Love) , Dana Dane and Whodini incorporated some horror themes into their music . Again they rapped about a wide array of topics . From comedy to party music to politics to lyrical rap to gansgta / street rap to horror core .

      I would say that Esham was the first rapper to do exclusively horror core material . He was on that tip as early as 1983 . Insane Clown Posse , Necro , Ill Bill , X-Raided , Insane Poetry , House Of Krazees (now called Twiztid) and B.L.H. followed in the later 80’s and early 90’s . Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko started in the mid-90’s .

    • All I’m saying is that Esham was the first rapper to make a 100% pure horror core album . The initial release of “Boomin’ Words From Hell” came out in January 1989 . It was recorded in one day . At least according to hip hop lore . Mike E. Clark , the now famous producer , helped repackage it for it’s 1990 re-release . Ganksta N-I-P ( a member of K-Rino’s South Park Coalition ) claims he has done horror core since 1983 . This is the same year Esham started writing horror core rhymes . The Geto Boys first album came out in 1988 . But it was not a horror core album . It had a couple of horror themed tracks . N-I-P’s first album came out in 1992 . The old school rappers from 1980 to 1987 mostly used a comedic , cliched or dated approach to horror-themed songs .

      The first rapper to put out a violent / extreme horror core album was Esham . Esham never gets any credit . He is an unsung hero of hip hop . If it weren’t for him , MC Breed (Rest In Paradise) and Awesome Dre there would be no Eminem , Kid Rock , Insane Clown Posse , D12 , Blade Icewood (Rest In Paradise) , Big Herk , Danny Brown , Dice , Prozak , Dayton Family , Twiztid , Boldy James , Anybody Killa , Blaze Ya Dead Homie , Trick-Trick , Goon Sqwad , Shady Records , Rude Jude (radio host ; not a rapper) or Psychopathic Records . The Detroit / Michigan hip hop scene would have gone in a totally different direction .

    • All I’m saying is that making the first complete Horrorcore album doesn’t necessarily make it the best, plus garbage songs like “Pussy Ain’t Got No Face” stops it from being a complete Horrorcore album. As far as I’m aware, Esham didn’t make music earlier than 1988, N-I-P made his first solo album in 1992 but he co-founded SPC in 1987, Geto Boys started making albums in 1988, in any case the 1983 Whodini track I have in this list pre-dates anything N-I-P, Geto Boys, or Esham made. It says online that Esham made his first album when he was 16, if he made music in 1983 like you say, not only have I not heard it, but it would make him around 10 years old at the time, conveniently the same time as the Whodini song – so what’s more likely that a kid influenced a trio of adults or the other way around?

      It doesn’t matter how the sub-genre first sounded (it only sounds clichéd or dated in retrospect) but regardless of the “comedic” content, one of the first horror-hip-hop songs was “Haunted House Of Rock”. I’m not saying other artists don’t deserve to be in a Horrorcore list, especially if this was a Top Horrorcore Rappers list, these rappers should be in a Top 25 of that, but they have to make a memorable or classic Horrorcore song to be in this list which I haven’t heard, although I’ll admit I haven’t heard all of their work.

    • (REPLYING TO YOUR PREVIOUS COMMENT FROM November 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm)

      This list was comprised of the best Horrorcore songs rather than best Horrorcore rappers – therefore someone like Necro (a non-stop Horrorcore rapper who would be placed much higher in a Horrorcore rapper list than someone like Big L) when it comes to this list, something like “Devil’s Son” (which had a bigger impact on Hip-Hop than any of Necro’s songs) is placed higher. Big L could be considered more of a hardcore rapper (“All Black”) or sometimes lyrical rapper (“Ebonics”) but he did make one of the first Horrorcore songs of the nineties that pre-dated many rappers including some you mentioned.

      Kool Keith is a rapper who lays claim to the term “horrorcore” and even though his personalities vary between cartoonish, surreal etc., Dr. Dooom was one of his best horror-based creations plus his standing pushes him much higher up the list. There could have been any number of songs by Brotha Lynch Hung/Necro/Gravediggaz/100X/Flatlinerz etc. but it was Diary Of A Madman that was the stand-out track on Gravediggaz’ début LP which was very influential and also slightly crossed-over (it also pre-dated Def Jam’s Flatlinerz and was a much better album). Sunz Of Man and Dark Skinned Assassin (as well as Klik Ga Bow) followed on from Gravediggaz and made the sub-genre more credible especially in the East Coast, to the point where DMX could release a violent/horror-based album and go platinum. DMX’s first album may have varied themes but “Damien” and “X Is Coming” were thematically Horrorcore.

      B.O.N.E. pre-dated Three 6 Mafia, plus I like to remind people that their original sound was definitely Horrorcore rather than religious. Shabazz The Disciple is a hardcore rapper but his contribution to Horrocore can’t be ignored – he delivered two of the most memorable Horrorcore verses in Hip-Hop history.

      Voodu’s first album contained a handful of horrorcore songs but none of them stood-out, same goes for Three 6 Mafia. Insane Clown Posse has never made a song that contained memorable or unique content, someone like X-Raided went to prison for a murder after a home invasion but his real life credibility doesn’t affect his Horrorcore songs which also don’t stand out. 100X and Madstyle made horrorcore albums but none of their songs stood out as much as those on the list.

      It doesn’t really matter if an entire album or a rapper is 100%/full-time Horrorcore to make a decent Horrorcore track, like I said Flatbush Zombies made “Death 2” which mentioned serial killers and although their aesthetic is psychedelic/alternative that song is still Horrorcore.

      Since this was a “best song” list, this contained for me the right mixture of overground (DMX), underground (Necro), East Coast (Dark Skinned Assassin), West Coast (Brotha Lynch Hung) Midwest (B.O.N.E.) old-school (Whodini) etc. You can easily say X, Y, and Z are better/more credible Horrorcore artists, but these songs are there for their impact/influence on both Hip-Hop artists and Hip-Hop audiences, the Top 5 are definitely the best examples of the genre in my opinion.

  2. Esham and N-I-P both started writing their rhymes in notebooks in about 1983 . Back in 1983 not all of their content was horror core , but much of it was . They were indeed influenced by Whodini and Jimmy Spicer even earlier in the 1980’s . But they altered the theme and made their writings more brutal and violent . They grew up in very poor areas in Detroit (Esham) and Houston (N-I-P) . They didn’t have the money to record their music when they were younger than 15 years old . The South Park Coalition formed in about 1985 or 1986 when K-Rino and N-I-P were still in high school .

    A couple of tracks on Esham’s first album have a misogynistic sex-theme or a drug use theme . Still 90% of the album or more reflects horror core stylings . Same goes for N-I-P’s or Insane Clown Posse’s first studio albums . Both of those came out in 1992 . They started writing material for those albums as early as 1989 or 1990 .

    Esham and N-I-P were also influenced by famous horror movies and contemporary horror novelists . They were fans of “Friday The 13th” , “The Exorcist” , “Rosemary’s Baby” , “The Night Of The Living Dead” , “Halloween” and “The Shining” . They also watched older horror movies starring the likes of Vincent Price , Bela Lugosi , Christopher Lee and Peter Lorre . Older directors like Roger Corman , James Whale , William Castle and Alfred Hitchcock were influential to them . Stephen King , Clive Barker , John Carpenter , Roman Polanski and George A. Romero were also big influences on them .

  3. Of course , Jimmy Spicer and Whodini had very similar influences when they wrote their material between 1978 and 1983 . Horror core is almost as old as hip hop itself . Same goes for gangsta rap and political / conscious hip hop . And those themes ( horror , crime and politics ) predate hip hop in music form by thousands of years . Back to the days of The Ancient Sumerians , European Pagans , Hebrews , Chinese , Persians , Aztecs , Egyptians , Brahmans and Greeks .

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