$uicideboy$: Trippy, True, Therapeutic

           I’m extremely late to this ride, but I’m okay with that. Why? Because they are that good. Over the past month I have been introducing myself to the hypnotizing vibes of the rap duo $uicideboy$. Hailing from New Orleans, $lick and Ruby Da Cherry make up what I can best describe as a trapstyle-hybridity of Triple Six Mafia and Bone Thugs N Harmony. Personally, I am always looking for vibey music with a darker personality, especially around Halloween time, and so I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this great music.

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        With song topics ranging from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and just general twisted bar-filled verses, there’s a lot to take away from this group. The production is almost always on point. The percussion and drums never get stale (something that could be considered hard in a genre of music that is often criticized for repetition), and the musical landscape of each beat has a very atmospheric vibe that compliments the ominous lyrics so well. The creativity of these artists in terms of morphing cadences, mixing up tonalities, and flexing vocal melodies is off the charts. Each song has something new to offer in the group’s well-established style.

        One thing I really appreciate about this group is their close proximity to undeniable unapologetic truth. While some may deem it as being dangerous or as being a negative influence, it is my belief that their unapologetic expression of substance abuse, addiction, anxiety, depression, suicide, etc. is what makes them so important. While watching a performance of theirs (see video below), $lick is shown introducing their song “Low Key” with assurances to fans that they need not feel alone in their own personal struggles and mental health issues. As someone who suffers from high anxiety, depression, and even suicidality, listening to their music has been so therapeutic and comforting. I don’t doubt that many other fans feel the same way.

http://soundcloud.com/g59 | http://suicideboys.bandcamp.com | http://www.g59records.com/ http://twitter.com/suicidechrist | http://twitter.com/suicideleopard | http://www.g59recordsmerchandise.com/

        Their soundscape of atmospheric beats and demonic lyrics should not be slept on, either. Take these few lines as example of their verbal prowess:

“Stalker, creepin', out the fuckin' dungeon
Switchblade on 'em hit the guts like a pumpkin,”
From the song “Paris”

“I am the Lord of loneliness.
I'll hold my breath
Just spoke with death
He said he hopes for the best”
From the song “Antarctica”

“Lay low at the bottom of a tulip bed
They know Ruby got a lot of useless thread
Cut me open, let me rest
There ain't nothin' in my chest
A hollow cage that caused my death”
From the song “Lay Low”

“Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan
Triple six be my language
Smoking on something that's flagrant
Shooting up something that's tainted”
From the song “Do You Believe In God?”

        One thing that should be pointed out is that I do not think that this music should be at all categorized as “horrorcore”. It feels way more than that. However, if you are looking for some complex vibes to get you through this Halloween season, whether it’s a positive one or negative one, I guarantee there’s something there for you. And in a world where nearly everything is disingenuous, here are a few artists that you can really appreciate.

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        One thing that I will question, though, is the slantedness of media portrayal. Possibly opening a can of worms, I am without a doubt tempted to question society’s and media’s questionable placement of explicit expressions of mental health. So far, in my time watching and hearing $uicideboy$, I have not once heard any news outlet challenge the artistic expression of suicide. However, upon minutes of anything that rapper XXXTentacion does with suicide (i.e. shooting videos of hanging himself, which was actually for a video depicting something else entirely), the media seems to be all over it immediately with “hard-hitting” questions challenging suicidality portrayed in music. While I’d prefer that no artist pay a penalty for speaking their mind or how they really feel when it comes to their own mental health and opinions surrounding this topic, it does seem odd that these two instances vary in critique. Overall, though, I hope that nobody tries to demonize this music and mark it as “dangerous”, because in my opinion it has all been beautifully resonant in my ears and how I feel after hearing these songs.

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        Personally, I cannot get enough of $uicideboy$. They are a breath of fresh air that keeps things new and exciting for my ears. It is the music that I was waiting for since Three 6 Mafia’s “Mystic Stylez” album and since Lord Infamous’ popularized triplet flow made way in the mainstream music scene. If you have not yet, I suggest listening to songs like “Paris”, “A Death In The Ocean Would Be So Beautiful”, “Low Key”, “Prince Tulip”, and “O PANA!”. You will not regret it.

#NeverDeadTalon

#NeverDeadNative's Halloween Ambiance 2016

Every Halloween brings a specific nostalgic aesthetic. From what you see, what you feel, to what you hear, Halloween means so many different things to all of us. Here is a collection of what we feel like hearing this year, 2016. Together, #NeverDeadDani & #NeverDeadTalon have cultivated a collection of sounds that you may also want to hear this year.

Rihanna: "Madhouse"

#NeverDeadDani: This song reminds me of haunted houses or like the introduction to a scary movie, Its like candy to my imagination. While this is a creepy track, there is also something about it that is very enticing and makes you want more. I thought it would be especially fitting as the first song to our playlist.

Evanescence: "Lies"

#NeverDeadTalon: I’ll admit, I’m not that big of an Evanescence fan at all. Who knows, maybe it was because “Bring Me To Life” was so worn out in my ear cavities in those years, but something just didn’t click with me. That was until I saw this animation released on Halloween 2003 on Newgrounds.com called “Brain Dead Ina”. It was a bit odd and problematic (oh, the context of Newgrounds at that time), but the title sequence of this animation included a sick transition to Amy Lee’s vocals which had a young Talon combing the net for the song. Overall, the contrast between every element of the song hauntingly blends together for something I feel is great for this time of year!

Rihanna: "Disturbia"

#NeverDeadDani: I'm sure everybody remembers when this song was playing on the radio nonstop, but it will still always be a favorite of mine. The visuals of the video are so spooky!  Much of the lyrics appeal to the dark sides of us that we all try to hide away. But during Halloween it's something we can be out in the open with. I also must say I will always respect the skill it took for Rihanna to jump to this type of a song and bring it to the mainstream as a hit.

Nine Inch Nails: "Came Back Haunted" (The Trans Human Experience Remix)

#NeverDeadDani: There are so many Nine Inch Nails songs that I could recommend for a Halloween playlist. Im sure many people would immediately would recall “closer” one of the classics you typically hear on the radio this time of the year. Haunted will give you a little something new, and this Nosferatu music video that was made to go with this remix gives you the perfect vintage Halloween feel. I could just imagine this video projected somewhere.

Sidewalks & Skeletons: "Crystal Castles - Violent Dreams Remix"

#NeverDeadTalon: Sidewalks & Skeletons was my introduction to a little subgenre of music many refer to as “WitchHouse”. I was so surprised I hadn’t come across it earlier, as it’s just a style that really appeals to me. I was highly tempted to put S&S’ song “Coffin Kids”, but this song in particular really brings out that fun-vibe of Halloween to me (whether or not that’s intended). It makes me wanna turn up the black lights and get down in a foggy basement somewhere. In any case, go check out more from this artist - I have nearly the entire discography (much of it free, btw) on my laptop.

Insane Clown Posse: "Pumpkin Carvers"

#NeverDeadTalon: Dani’s gonna laugh at this one. Yes, people, I Talon am a JUGGAJUGGALO! Well, I wouldn’t say I’m that hardcore with it, but I am a fan. This song in particular always got me ready to enjoy Halloween. “Take a closer look, you scary m*****f*****! Don’t my jack-o-lantern look like your little brother?!”

Twiztid: "Zombie"

#NeverDeadTalon: While I’m talking about Psychopathic Records, I must include this other great horrific track from Twiztid. I don’t think there are too many other zombie hip hop tracks out there that really captivate the feel of the subgenre like this track.

She Wants Revenge: "Tear You Apart"

#NeverDeadDani: American Horror story fans can recall this song being used in a scene with Lady Gaga’s role as “The Countess” in American Horror Story Hotel. (Without seeming pretentious) I will say that I was a fan before I saw it in this segment, but I was excited to see it resurrected again, and for such a fitting scene! While the music video depicts a misfit girl being chased by classmates telling her to “reveal” her true self, it never quite revealed exactly ‘what’ she is, but that plot hole interestingly enough leaves that possibility open to the viewers. When I listen to this song I picture Ginger Fitzgerald’s femme fatale-esque character in Ginger Snaps.

Misfits: "Monster Mash"

#NeverDeadTalon: This may seem cliche, but I just love it too much. It’d be really great to have a whole Halloween kids’ CD turned into metal and punk tracks like this. It doesn’t do too much, it’s just all around really fun and festive.

Lady Gaga: "Little Monster Manifesto"

#NeverDeadDani: Before there was American Horror Story, there was Mother Monster. While this is not so much a song, rather an art piece, I couldn't resist adding this to the must watch playlist. It is sure to shift the viewer’s mood, whether it is halloween creepy vibes or pure discomfort. With symbolic visuals and complex narration, this clip may provoke deeper thoughts about human nature and society. Is that really too deep of a way to perceive music and horror? In my open it really reflects the symbols and function of hollywood and the horror genre itself. If you can view this whole video yourself without getting too weirded out, see what messages you can pull from it.

Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi" (The Live Version)

#NeverDeadDani: The paparazzi music video is quite brilliant, artistically and visually pleasing, while I wouldn't rule that out, the live performance of this song is my favorite hands down. Stylistically it is sang differently, classical music elements with an added piano solo. White costumes with lace and pearls, chandeliers and an architectural set which implies high class. The emotional tension and sense of dread that is built up until the end. The finale visual always sends chills up my spine. Whether or not intentional, certain aspects of this performance, such as the musical instruments, the blood and the lighting, evokes American Horror classics and the ways simple cinematic effects are used to amplify peak climax moments. Of course the overall implications of Gaga’s artistic message often says there is so much more to “the fame” than what is perceived at surface value. When horror intersects with the threshold of what may appear normalized in everyday life, it leaves one to question what more we may be missing? That thought and sense of uncertainty can be offputting.

Gorillaz: "Clint Eastwood"

#NeverDeadDani: I know you may be wondering “how is that a HALLOWEEN song?” As a Native person I have a funny relationship with westerns, (thanks to cowboys and Indians and people “playing Indian” every halloween) but the Good, The Bad and The Ugly, was one of those that I watched as a child that stuck with me as a classic. So you can imagine when this song was released I was a fan. To think that someone was able to take this song and incorporate a video that is stylistically unique with horror elements, makes it even more interesting. The rap verses allude not only to the theme of the video but a relevance to themes hinting at real life corruption. Again a message in which a horror plot can border the line between fiction and a lived reality.

The Devil Wears Prada: "Outnumbered"

#NeverDeadDani: Not for the fragile of heart, or those who aren’t into metalcore. This song lends the perfect ambiance whether you’re playing a zombie game like Left 4 dead, Getting some cardio in, or just want to get pumped up for a zombie film classic or an episode of The Walking Dead.

Cradle of Filth: "Cthulhu Dawn"

#NeverDeadTalon: Organs, choirs, fast drumming, quick guitars, great vocals, H.P. Lovecraft-inspired content. This song has a lot, and while I thought about “Castlevania” for this list as well, I couldn’t help but put this here instead.

Ozzy Osbourne: "Mr. Crowley"

#NeverDeadTalon: Okay, perhaps another cliche, but come on! Those beginning organs, going on about Aleister Crowley, and R.I.P. to the great Randy Rhoads with the amazing solos and guitar work. This song always makes me think of fall nights, walking with my hood on and headphones blaring.

My Chemical Romance: "To The End"

#NeverDeadDani: A song theorized be inspired by William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” puts a modern twist on classic literature. I imagine any fan of Edgar Allan Poe would enjoy it like I do. Quirky sounds in this song reverberate imagined imagery of tombstones, and the tragic tale of a marriage story gone awry.

Brotha Lynch Hung: "D.O.A."

#NeverDeadTalon: I’ve been a big Brotha Lynch Hung fan ever since I stumbled upon the “Black Market” track a long time ago. A whole other level of horror-rap and gruesome lyrics, almost like the niche appeal Hostel brought to the film word. Just how explicit and shocking can you get with art? Not only does Lynch bring a possible answer to that, but it comes with some pretty great creepiness.

Necro: "Beautiful Music For You To Die To"

#NeverDeadTalon: This song to me really shows Necro’s really grimey style. The hard keys in it really do exemplify that gorey horrorcore style that he has throughout all of his music.

Mike Relm: "This Is Halloween Rendition"

#NeverDeadDani: What would Halloween be without this Classic from Nightmare Before Christmas? This remix of the song is yet another version to be stuck in your head, but a nice diversion from the original.

Maniac: The Siouxpernatural: "When Scarecrows Walk"

#NeverDeadTalon: Expect a future piece on his work, btw. Choosing just one horror-core track from Maniac was a task. I came across Maniac: The Siouxpernatural back when he released his first album under NightShield Entertainment called “Nightmerika” which featured a great intro track that I almost copped out with on this list. However, it was this later release called “Maniac VS. Genocide: Hell’s Winter” that I just love listening to and feeling creepy about.

We hope you enjoy this year's Halloween playlist!
Here's for more to come!
#NeverDeadNative