After a health scare that left him hospitalized in 2010, it appeared that Ricky Dunigan b/k/a Lord Infamous was on the mend with the release of “Futuristic Rowdy Bounty Hunter.” Unfortunately for all of us he didn’t have much time left on this earth, as Infamous would suffer a heart attack in his sleep and pass away three years later. Infamous left behind a legacy as one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia. He was the half brother of Paul “DJ Paul” Beauregard so it was only natural for them to roll like family, and until the 2000’s he was a mainstay of the crew until expanding on his solo career by founding Black Rain Entertainment. “Helloween” came out on Black Rain a year before “Futuristic” and I decided today was as good a time as any to talk about it.

The truth is that this isn’t just an Infamous album though. Fellow Black Rain founder II Tone shares both top billing and lyrical duties, making this an unofficial rap group for the label. I’d argue this is to L.I.’s benefit since he always shined brightest when featured with other Three 6 Mafia emcees. What’s strange about “Helloween” though is that it features Christian interludes and skits that mimic sincere platitudes directed to the Lord, only for the script to be flipped each time and return to the kind of horrorcore you would expect from Infamous and friends.

It doesn’t appear there were any singles or music videos to support the album. It feels ridiculous to even make that point given that the songs feature topics too graphic for anything but a R rated movie, but it also serves to illustrate the difficult position Infamous was in. As part of the Mafia he had the strength of their reputation behind him, and despite their dalliances with darker themes they always managed to produce banger beats and chart topping hits like “Tear Da Club Up” and “Ridin’ Spinners.” While you can respect Infamous’ desire to do things his way and rap about more gothic topics, it results in an album that apparently never even made it into stores, being printed and distributed on demand by the label.

The album hammers home these choices by ending on a skit titled “Satanism” where a deeply filtered voice thanks all his loyal worshipers and promotes both II Tone’s solo album and “Futuristic Rowdy Bounty Hunter” as coming out soon. If I’m being honest here (and why shouldn’t I be) the skits aren’t funny, interesting, or necessary on an album that doesn’t even ride for a full half hour. Even the remastered version that came out three years ago still clocks in at 22 minutes. I probably wouldn’t be insulted by it if I didn’t know how little time Infamous had left when it was recorded.

This leaves me with the regrettable duty to inform you that “Helloween” really isn’t necessary as a fan of Three 6 Mafia, Lord Infamous or II Tone. The production is aight but there aren’t any banger beats that could transcend this extremely short effort to become classics. The references to Michael Myers and chopping up bodies are par for the course and will neither shock nor impress ardent horrorcore fans. I went into this review hoping to find undiscovered Infamous material that would increase his legacy posthumously. The best I can say is that it doesn’t detract from it… but it certainly doesn’t add anything to it.

Lord Infamous & II Tone :: Helloween
6Overall Score