Defamation League :: The Anatomy of Grit-Hop ::
as reviewed by Matt Tomer

Just when I thought horrorcore had finally realized its many shortcomings and packed up shop, "The Anatomy of Grit-Hop" shows up at my front door. Like anyone else, I can appreciate a little senseless violence now and then, but I can't help but find full-length slaughter-sessions childish and ridiculous. The fact is that horrorcore is dead for a reason, in that it wasn't ever really alive. Even the Gravediggaz, the most acclaimed act of the genre, probably would not be remembered if it weren't for the help of beats from RZA and Prince Paul, a duo that could make almost ANY project tolerable. Still, the underground remains an ideal breeding ground for comically sadistic emcees, with the Defamation League representing the newest to do it.

Def League claim to be a mix of punk rock and rap, but I quickly found that to be a lie. An homage to Limp Bizkit was about the last thing I felt like having to listen to, so I'm happy to report that this wasn't the case. Rather, every riff that emcee/guitarist Nick Sleezin lays down could easily have went for just another sample, if not an often sub-par and poorly synced one, but the beats aren't the problem with "The Anatomy of Grit-Hop." In fact, many of them are pretty nice, using dark samples in an attempt to compliment the darker themes. "Cellulite Disco" is a mellowed-out organ groove, and the classical piano chops on "The Sounds of Violence" are very nice. Elsewhere, menacing horns from what could be 50's sci-fi TV are abundant.

But lyrically, this has to be the easiest review I've ever been assigned. By the end of the listen, you will have learned the following about the Defamation League:

* Hobbies include hard drugs and fat chicks.
* They will kill you.
* You can't fuck with them.
* Their shit is the shit.

Frankly, Def League's writtens make your average Vinnie Paz verse look genius, and seeing that the JMT frontman still talks about stabbing bladders and murdering gays, that's hardly a compliment. I don't know much about writing horror raps, but I doubt that it's limited to this level of banality. Almost every song revolves around nothing more than forced blood and gore, and if not that, the Leaguers are telling you how awesome they are. They're proud of their shameless ability to glorify murder, but unfortunately, that's all they can say for themselves. Necro's thought up more inventive raps passed out on the toilet.

Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 1.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10

Originally posted: January 2, 2007