Horrorcore rap is definitely a niche product. The problem with horrorcore is that the important thing in the genre is not how you say things, but what you say. Because of this, quality is sometimes sacrificed for content. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Esham and Ganksta Nip who are as horrorcore as one can get. But for every dope rapper who ventures to the dark side we get a hundred rappers who have weak flows and beats. The content in horrorcore rap is already so hardcore that rap fans tend to stray away even when the music itself is dope. When you combine this seemingly unsavory content with wack music it's that much easier for fans to dismiss the genre. 2 Sins and Stitchmouth fall somewhere in between the two extremes that make up horrorcore. 2 Sins is a duo from Detroit who has been putting it down for years. Not much is given about Stitchmouth, but he presents horrorcore style with a down south twist. The rappers combine to give us an EP of material that embodies horrorcore to the fullest.
The album opens up with a three minute intro that does nothing to break the stereotype of the typical horrorcore rapper. With a distorted "demon" voice, we are told we are sheep if we believe in and fear god and that those who believe in the demonic are much more aware and advantaged. So if you can't stand things that are demonic or if you find them blasphemous, this is not the CD for you. Personally, I'm a religious man but I treat this type of music like I treat horror movies – as entertainment and nothing else. The first track is surprisingly more southern than most horrorcore. No production notes are given, but I assume the rappers handle it themselves. For "Hata Killas" the crew borrows from the Three 6 Mafia, combining a deep, slithering bassline with sparse piano notes and strings. The comparisons to the Three 6 Mafia continue when the hook starts and they declare "haters wanna talk this, but they can't walk this" which sounds like Lil' Wyte's "Talkin' Ain't Walkin'." When the third verse kicks in the Memphis comparison continues as it is delivered with a quintessential Memphis flow. By this point it is obvious that one of the members is either from Memphis or deeply influenced by early dark music. "Redrum Shit" follows and shows us that the crew isn't complete clones as they switch things up a bit. For any other genre of rap, the fact that the melody in the song consists of exactly 3 notes repeated over and over again would be fatal. Here, the three note combo works to set the dark tone of the track, but the repetitiveness of the hook ("I'ma get inside your mind and make you slit your own wrist, I'm on that redrum shit") stops this from being anything but average.
The second half of the EP (technically it is only 6 tracks long, including an intro and outro) is more of the same. "Devil Horns" is as energetic as the crew gets, asking you to throw up your devil horns. "The Darkside" ends things with a dark and slow dedication to murder without a motive. Nothing stands out except the guy who sounds like he got his style from the Prophet Posse circa 1993 (I think his name is Lethal). The outro finishes things off with nothing noteworthy except the beat is probably the EP's most dope/complex and should have been used for one of the songs. We also get two bonus tracks in the form of solos from each respective artist. Stitchmouth gives us "Obsessed with Gore" where he describes his affinity for bodily fluids and violence. 2 Sins hits us up with a rare track from 1994 called "Night Creeper" where it sounds like they might have screwed up their voices just a little on the verses. The track itself is clearly inspired by the G-Funk that was popular at the time as the crew laces a funky bassline with a couple of soul samples for the beat. The deliveries are also influenced by old school gangsta rap as the crew has a faster flow on the track. Overall, the bonus track is actually the dopest one on the whole EP. It's odd since 2 Sins sounded doper to me back in 1994 than they do today.
"Hell Awaits" is nothing extraordinary. Though having a career that spans over a decade is impressive for 2 Sins, they don't show anything on this CD that warrants attention. Longtime horrorcore fans are probably already familiar with 2 Sins and Stitchmouth and this release is likely to satisfy them. But for those looking to venture into the genre you should probably start elsewhere. The peculiar thing in all this is that the bonus tracks seem to show that 2 Sins and Stitchmouth are much better on their own. 2 Sins especially (at least the 1994 version) sound good away from Stitchmouth. Personally, I'd like to hear more early 2 Sins material as the horrorcore/G-Funk combination makes for interesting and unique results. Otherwise, "Hell Awaits" is like a horror movie with a rehashed plot and average acting, it's nothing new but it still has its fans.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: July 10, 2007