Horrorcore, rap’s almost forgotten sub-genre, coined by Flatlinerz, has seen brighter days. While Kool Keith takes credit as the originator, Tha Gravediggaz may be the poster-child and Onyx its close cousin. Tyler, The Creator is not often associated with the sound, but “Yonkers” is certainly classic Horrorcore; the last time the style has sniffed mainstream success.
Amityvill3’s Th3 Amityvill3 Horror Show III is a system update (of sorts) on horror rap.
Its first half is less genre-fitting in content and sound, yet stays par with the tone you’re used to. Production in the former half is a little more boom-bap and at times, trap-py.
Take “Unholy Spirits“: With its triplet drum patterns and sing-along hook, could fit 2005 Jeezy as well as it serves Amityvill3. “Devolved (Goat Like 2)“, possibly the most rappity-rap song on TAHS3, has almost typical “let me show my rap skills” production and our villain follow suit with a lyrical barrage.
Amityvill3 is like Sticky Fingaz, with flashes of Tech N9ne, sprinkled with DMX’s straight-forward approach.
The latter half picks up with “Scream“, where Amity tells a vivid murder story backed by an almost motivational soundtrack. Later on “Villainous“, he spits “I’ll even get caught on purpose, so that we make a break“. It’s this type of wit and dark-humor that sees the Upstate, NY native emcee at his peak.
“Witch Magic” is a freaky love tale, where he goes from admiration, to love-sick, to heartbroken to lust; “Y’all be eating booty like it’s groceries/I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean” he spits on the second verse.
One possible misstep (depending on your rap palet) is Amity often pulls back lyrically in lieu of shock. Although it does have an upside, it doesn’t fully reflect his potential as a pure wordsman.
Other follies include some mixing choices, spotty delivery and lack of standout moments (outside of “Sinister“, a clear front-runner for a single). Also, guest features add little to nothing on TAHS3.
Amity is a clearly seasoned emcee and Th3 Amityvill3 Horror Show III is a solid representation of 2022 Horrorcore. Maybe it shouldn’t be judged in that context, but when you settle into a niche, every piece means that much more.