Horror core has always been a sub genre within hip hop that few knew existed and even fewer new how to perform correctly. While Geto Boys brought it into the spotlight and Earl Sweatshirt gave it new life before changing his sound, it’s a space that isn’t the most popular while being misrepresented for years. That changes today. On their new album Visions of Bodies Being Burned, Los Angeles trio Clipping have not only done the sub genre justice, they’ve redefined it as well.
The opening track “Intro” is all you need to know where this album is going. Stark drums, an itching sound like a guitar pick run up the strings; there’s enough here to ready you for the intense tones you’re about to receive. Followed by the banger “Say The Name,” the screwed vocals on loop embark on the mystery unfolding. The rhymes come in alongside a strewn out synth and a drum that curdles like old milk. Clipping isn’t flexing here, they’re just reinventing. On ” ’96 Neve Campbell (feat. Cam and China)” the band digs into horror with echoed vocals amid a sound that’s minimal yet still hard hitting. The rhymes from the featured duo offer just as immense of a tone, the rhymes throughout are just as acute. With “Something Underneath” the trio utilizes dark electronica with fast spitting vocals to elude to something more fervent.
But just as the album has moments that are intermingled with interludes, the way the mic gets hit here and the grime infused notes create a sound that’s as future as it is intense. “She Dead” digs the grave while you’re staring at your final resting place. “Check The Lock” offers darkness and fright as one with these trippy beats that lie above the lyrics that play out like they were taken from a scary film. But while the album mixes together multiple sounds and killer beats to take the sub genre to new places, none do this as well as “Body For the Pile (with SICKNESS).” the elements are all here with a scary beat and plenty of flow between the two rappers. The way the tones come and go with stabs of horror is immense, the vocals play out the tale while the music makes you feel like you’e living what you’re hearing. It’s masterful and on another level thus proving that Clipping can scare us even when we know it isn’t real.
Visions of Bodies Being Burned is ready to purchase physically and digitally directly from Sub Pop Records. It can also be streamed wherever you stream music.
Image Credits: Photo by Cristina Bercovitz.