Halloween and music make a deadly combination. Here are a few of our favorite soundtracks for Hallow’s Eve.
Dare Iz A Darkside – Redman (1994)
This album is like an LSD-trip. You can experience both heaven and hell. A heady venture into Redman’s creative process that even he can’t seem to shake as he has stated he does not perform any songs off that album. Psychedelic and Somber. Redman’s erratic behavior and laughter interspersed throughout the album shows there is a thin line between creative genius and insanity.
Ta1300 – Denzel Curry (2018)
One of the newer albums on this list, the Florida-native does not disappoint. While this album is broken into 3 acts: Light, Grey, and Dark- The dark side truly revels in an evocative territory. Take for example, when Curry references Stephen King’s IT on the “Blackest Balloon” where he uses Pennywise’s balloons as a metaphor for the memory of his brother who died an untimely death, haunting him.
Stand-out tracks: Blackest Balloon, Vengeance
Movies for the Blind – Cage (2002)
If Dare Iz a Darkside was a journey venturing through the mania of an artist during the creative process, then Movies for the Blind is zip-lining through the drug-addled and tortured mind of its creator, past his inner demons waiting to tear him to shreds to a soundtrack of 90s boom-bap. The author references literally being confined to a psychiatric hospital to delusions of grandeur after smoking PCP as well as Friday the 13th films.
Stand-out tracks: Agent Orange, In Stoney Lodge
Anghellic – Tech N9ne (2001)
Tech N9ne has been one of the most multi-faceted rappers to last over the decades. While the re-issue features the track “Devil Boy” which has Tech distance himself from allegations of devil worship; the original version has Tech explaining the gritty urban realities that tormented him growing up in Kansas City. While that may sound par for the course for rap albums today, it was a Faustian deal for Tecca Nina. Be sure to check out “Psycho Bitch” that samples the Halloween theme song.
Stand-out tracks: Breathe, Psycho Bitch, Going Bad
The Great Milenko – Insane Clown Posse (1997)
Yeah, I know. A lot of people don’t like them. But The Great Milenko is ICP’s magnum opus. It features some truly standout moments from the group, the album’s title track showcases Halloween funhouse horror as Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope portray wicked carnival barkers. On the next track, “Hokus Pokus”, the production feels like a Ferris Wheel ride through said carnival. Their rock influences are put on full display on “Piggy Pie”, a song that fantasizes about cop killing. While ICP may never get the full credit they deserve, traces of influence can be found in early Eminem and Kotton Mouth Kings.
Stand-out tracks: Piggy Pie, Southwest Voodoo, How Many Times.
Balance – Swollen Members (1999)
The debut album from Canadian rap group Swollen Members demonstrates the group’s wizardry with words. SM act as verbal necromancers with haunting background vocals and dark beats. This album is chock full of imagery about black magic and murder best exemplified on “Horrified Nights”. Production credits include Evidence and Alchemist.
Stand-out tracks: Strength, Horrified Nights, Groundbreaking
I Need Drugs – Necro (2000)
A cult classic. If you can get past Necro clumsily trudging through multisyllabic rhymes (and the needless homophobia that plagued the era), I Need Drugs is an impressive lo-fi hiphop album and testament of depravity. The album is meant to be humorous with Necro rapping about his drug addiction to LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” or literally describing how cockroaches will survive a nuclear winter on “Cockroaches”.
Stand-out track: Underground, Rugged Shit, Cockroaches.
6 feet Deep – Gravediggaz (1994)
This album features production from both RZA and Prince Paul. “Diary of a Madman” talks about demonic possession through an Islamic lens. RZA even mentions evil djinn. It’s a Halloween-ish take on the duality of man between good and evil as well as mind and body.
Stand-Out tracks: 1-800 Suicide, Blood Brothers, Diary of a Madman
Mystic Stylez – Three 6 Mafia (1995)
We basically dedicated an entire episode of the podcast to this album and for good reason. Allegations of satanic worship during this era were rampant for Three 6 Mafia. The standout track is by far, “Live By Yo Rep” the Bone Thugs diss that had Lord Infamous describing taking a pitchfork and ghoulishly pressing razorblades against hot flesh.
Stand-out tracks: Live By Yo Rep, Mystic Stylez
We Can’t Be Stopped – Geto Boys (1991)
It is very telling that the Insane Clown Posse did an album where they covered Geto Boys’ songs, as they were one of the group’s biggest influences early on.
On We Can’t Be Stopped, the Geto Boys use storytelling to tell harrowing tales of the urban jungle. Bushwick Bill rhymes from the perspective of “Chuckie” (yes that Chucky!), and “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is considered one of the greatest hip hop storytelling tracks ever penned to paper.
Stand-out tracks: Chuckie, Mind Playing Tricks on Me