November 24, 2016

Brainwash - Skitsofrenic (1996)

Not enough peoples' minds jump to northern California when horrorcore is brought up. I feel like nowadays when people think of horrorcore they jump straight to Memphis, early Houston rap, and underground Midwestern rap. That's all good shit, but in my opinion, the gold standard for the style is maintained in NoCal, specifically Sacramento. Brainwash is from the closeby city of Stockton and released a single undeground album to CD in the 90s [maybe not though, I'm checking online and it seems like he had a number of other underground tape & trunk releases, I dont know man, just go with it]. His accent is distinctly Cali bay area, and that mixed with the E-40ish flow and lyrics about the devil and brutal homicides makes the Brotha Lynch Hung comparison easy to make. There is something dope and skillful about being able to flash lines about cannibalism, living dead, and speaking with the devil without skipping a stride in the laid back West coast flow--that's the reason why I prefer NoCal horrorcore to the angry and/or fast Memphis and H-Town horrorcore. Skitsofrenic is hardly a step up from a homemade effort and the first half producer makes up for the low budget and inexperience by padding the beats with plenty of horror flick-inspired synths when he's not pushing horror samples. If you're a fan of g-whistle horrorcore like the shit heard on Season Of The Siccness, you will find some solid gems buried in the second half as well (pretty much the whole second half is produced by another person). The unraveled, underground sound will either find your inner satanist and connect with you on the first run or you'll at least enjoy the album for a single listen for its campiness.