November 23, 2016

There’s always been a thin line between horror-core and hardcore street rap. When you strike that balance between grotesque and gangsta, you can achieve an even more chilling effect. See The Dayton Family and Triple Six Mafia, Esham and Gravediggaz. But when it gets too cartoonish, it just feels cheap and schlocky and doused in off-brand Michigan soda (or “pop.”)

Trizz falls in the former category. The Inland Empire rapper was mentored by Brotha Lych Hung, collaborated as a group with Sacramento’s Chuwee, and spent most of his adolescence unnaturally obsessed with Wisconsin serial killers. The experience makes for a more harrowing strain of gangsta rap, seen here in the video for “Suburbia,” which starts out with a skit that reminds me of something off Hell on Earth.  

He describes the song and video “as a vivid description of where I come from and my view on the things that surround me. It’s a place that’s very deceiving to the naked eye. From the outside looking in, everything is all good but for the people actually living here, it’s hell. Don’t let the term “Suburbia” fool you, my definition is clearly different. In the song I say “Friends killing friends over jealousy and money”, I was referring to my cousin who was just killed by a few of his “homies” earlier this year. The song is a true story.”

The effect feels like Earl Sweatshirt if he was sent to the Rolling 60s instead of Samoa and smoked weed in 85 Cutlass’ instead of the claustrophobia of his own design. If most music branded as horror-core was over-the-top, Trizz is effective because he makes music that feels cadaverous and cold-blooded. The VHS camcorder effects on the video add a creepy nostalgia touch, which makes it seem less like Bones and more like someone who knows where the bodies are buried. I assume that almost no one reading this has friends who still play Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, but just in case, if they ever do, revoke their Aux privileges and put this on instead.

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!