Twiztid – “Nickel Bag” review

Twiztid is a hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, both of whom originally started out as part of the House of Krazees alongside childhood friend The R.O.C. in 1992 before their initial disbandment 5 years later. Almost immediately after, the Insane Clown Posse took Jamie & Mono under their wings by signing them to Psychopathic Records as the demented duo they’re known as today. They would become the label’s 2nd biggest act being their mentors off projects like Mostasteless, Freek Show, Mirror Mirror, The Green Book, W.I.C.K.E.D. (Wish I Could Kill Every Day) & Abominationz. Shortly after the latter was released, Twiztid left Psychopathic to form Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. Since then they’ve released 6 albums & 6 EPs on their own label, my favorite of which being Revelashen. But with the 5th annual Astronomicon going down this weekend, they’re celebrating by dropping their 14th EP limited to only 420 copies.

After the melodic yet chilled out “Smoke” intro which only has Jamie on it, the first song “High Life” starts off the EP with a fun little ode to that good kush whereas the “Hydro” remix is alright even though the main version with Layzie Bone is a highlight off The Green Book & hearing it without the latter’s verse feels kinda weird to me personally. “The Clouds Outside” goes into hazier territory talking about being higher than such & as for the remix of “Come On Let’s Get High” off of The Continuous Evilutions of Life’s ?’s, I actually prefer it over the original. Especially with the horns throughout.

Even though it’s only an intro with 2 new songs & 2 remixes, I still look at Nickel Bag as an acceptable way to hold everyone over until the Unlikely Prescription follow-up produced entirely by Zeuss & their “straight up wicked” album. I can do without the “Hydro” remix but other than that, Twiztid & Fritz reunite to deliver something fresh for all the smokers out there.

Score: 3.5/5

Twiztid – “Untitled” review

This is the 13th EP from Detroit duo Twiztid. Consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, the pair originally started out as part of the House of Krazees alongside childhood friend The R.O.C. in 1992 before their initial disbandment 5 years later. Almost immediately after, the Insane Clown Posse took Jamie & Mono under their wings by signing them to Psychopathic Records as the demented duo they’re known as today. They would become the label’s 2nd biggest act being their mentors off projects like Mostasteless, Freek Show, Mirror Mirror, The Green Book, W.I.C.K.E.D. (Wish I Could Kill Every Day) & Abominationz. Shortly after the latter was released, Twiztid left Psychopathic to form Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. Since then they’ve released 6 albums, with my favorites being The Darkness at the top of 2015 & then Revelashen which just celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary recently. But after going into rock territory on Unlikely Prescription at the beginning of the fall, Twiztid gave fans a little treat to those who placed an order of $75 or more this Black Friday.

“The Hell That We Been Through” is an impressive opener from Triple Threat energetically encouraging their Day 1’s to stick together with them while the song “Sugar” goes into a bleaker direction talking about how they’re not fine mentally which they always do well with at subjects like that. The penultimate track “Real Clique” is a ghoulish trap banger taking shots at their opposition which is dope if you’re into battle raps & “On the Grind” finishes the EP off with Triple Threat reuniting on top of a misty instrumental flexing their hustle.

Although the mixed reception of Unlikely Prescription was a given & even I myself was 50/50 on it (that’s coming from a place of love too), I came away from this untitled EP enjoying it as much as I did Electric Lettuce back in the spring. They pick up where Revelashen left off in the sense that they demonstrate how talented they are as MCs & returning to a more hardcore hip hop sound, proving that they haven’t forgotten about their core fanbase.

Score: 3.5/5

Majik Ninja Entertainment – “Songs of Samhain 2: Haunted Record Player” review

Majik Ninja Entertainment is a Detroit based independent record label founded by Twiztid & their manager George Vlahakis in 2014, only 2 years after the demented duo’s departure from Psychopathic Records. However, they quickly built an empire or their own from bringing a few other PSY alumni along for the ride to help introduce G-Mo Skee & Alla Xul Elu to a much wider audience. The label’s first showcase comp Year of the Sword is easily the best one they’ve put out so far given the strength of the roster at the time, but that’s not to say Songs of Samhain wasn’t a respectable Halloween-themed EP. They just dropped an exclusive label comp at this year’s Attack of the Ninjas couple months ago & now with Halloween approaching this weekend, the crew is back together for a sequel to Songs of Samhain.

After the “I Shall Arrive” intro, the first song “Needle on the Record” by Twiztid is a demented boom bap opener about the haunted record player possessing their souls when they turn it on whereas “Go Out” by Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox, Gibby Stites & Jamie Madrox takes a turn into rap rock territory spitting that hardcore shit. “Haunted Thoughts” by the House of Krazees heinously spills out the fucked up shit in their minds just before Blaze, Boondox & Jamie reunite for the slow yet victorious ballad “Sing It”.

Meanwhile on “Heavier Every Time”, we have the Venomous 5 reforming over an unsettling trap beat about how the world will never understand them leading right into the “Nursery Rhyme from a Different Time” interlude. The song “Paint the Town Red” sees HOK keeping it in trap turf getting murderous while the penultimate track “Halloween Treat” by Twiztid & Oh! The Horror is a rap rock cut displaying some goth romance poetry. The album ends with “Quarantine”, where V5 plead to be saved from the disease of living over some pianos & dusty drums.

Compared to the first Songs of Samhain & even the Attack of the Ninjas album, Songs of Samhain 2: Haunted Record Player to me is the best label comp MNE has put out since Year of the Sword. It sounds darker & I really admire that it’s a bit more conceptual than the predecessor did.

Score: 3.5/5

Twiztid – “Unlikely Prescription” review

Twiztid is a hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, both of whom originally started out as part of the House of Krazees alongside childhood friend The R.O.C. in 1992 before their initial disbandment 5 years later. Almost immediately after, the Insane Clown Posse took Jamie & Mono under their wings by signing them to Psychopathic Records as the demented duo they’re known as today. They would become the label’s 2nd biggest act being their mentors off projects like Mostasteless, Freek Show, Mirror Mirror, The Green Book, W.I.C.K.E.D. (Wish I Could Kill Every Day) & Abominationz. Shortly after the latter was released, Twiztid left Psychopathic to form Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. Since then they’ve released 5 albums & 4 EPs on their own label, my favorite of which being Revelashen. But for their 15th full-length right here, Jamie & Mono are making a complete stylistic departure from the horrorcore sound they became known for.

“Corkscrew” is an electronic rock opener produced by A Danger Within talking about breaking down & asking for God to forgive them whereas “Twist & Shatter” gets on some emo shit talking about pulling apart again. “Broken Heart” goes into industrial rock territory with the help of drummer Drayven Davidson addressing an ex, but then “Confused” has a bit of an airy backdrop during the verses as the guitars dominate the majority of it. Lyrically, they’re talking about going from being hated to being famous.

Meanwhile on “Neon Vamp”, we have Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth joining Twiztid for a blatantly pure industrial hip hop banger encouraging the listener to go crazy leading into the hard rock banger “Comes with an Apology” talking about dealing with life until they’re gone. “Rose Petal” fuses together industrial music & rap metal going at the throats of judgmental people, but then “Dead Instead” has some killer guitar work despite the verses being mixed low & I appreciate the message of metaphorical walls closing in their minds.

“Parasite” has these infectiously catchy riffs as Jamie & Mono say they’ll never conform whereas the ScatteredBrains-produced “Perfect Problem” has to be my favorite on the album, being a straight up rap rock riot starter declaring themselves as such. “If I Get Things Right” asks to stop with the pretending on top of some killer drums & the hook one of the catchiest on the album, but “More Than a Memory” somberly tells the listener to remember their names in the end.

The song “Envy” is basically a mediocre attempt at a radio rock hit even though I can commend the message about how jealously can be the end of someone while the 7-produced penultimate track “No Change” with Matt Brandyberry sounds like a cheesy entrance theme you’d hear on WWE nowadays. “World of Pretend” ends the album on a victorious note, with Twiztid talking about what it feels like when you’re reeled into such.

These guys have ALWAYS had elements of rock in their music but now that they took on that sound for the length of an entire album, I’m on the fence with it. Half of these joints actually sound really good & the other doesn’t do all that much for me personally. That being said: I am looking forward to the album produced by Zeuss because he did a great job on the mastering, so I have a feeling he’s gonna help refine the style of rock Jamie & Mono wanna go into. Hopefully they give us more shit like “Empty”, “Wrong with Me”, “Alone”, “Darkness” & “Familiar”.

Score: 2.5/5

Twiztid – “Electric Lettuce” review

This is the 12th EP from Detroit duo Twiztid. Consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, the pair originally started out as part of the House of Krazees alongside childhood friend The R.O.C. in 1992 before their initial disbandment 5 years later. Almost immediately after, the Insane Clown Posse took Jamie & Mono under their wings by signing them to Psychopathic Records as the demented duo they’re known as today. They would become the label’s 2nd biggest act being their mentors off projects like Mostasteless, Freek Show, Mirror Mirror, The Green Book, W.I.C.K.E.D. (Wish I Could Kill Every Day) & Abominationz. Shortly after the latter was released, Twiztid left Psychopathic to form Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. Since then they’ve released 5 albums, with my favorites being The Darkness at the top of 2015 & then Revelashen from this past Black Friday. But being big stoners for as long as they’ve been around, Jamie & Mono have decided to drop Electric Lettuce just 3 days after Alla Xul Elu’s new album Necronomichron 2: Dead by Bong.

After the “Safe Place” intro, the first song “We All Float” encourages the listeners to “come down here” with them & the trap instrumental Young Wicked cooks up is totally off the wall. After the “Get Matt Nipps” skit, the following song “Light It Up” goes into a more west coast direction I almost wanna say as they talk about “rollin’ rappers up”. After the “Get Blaze” skit, the song “No Smoke” is a MNE posse cut sans Lex the Hex Master & The R.O.C. threatening their opposition with a piano-instrumental from 7 that really helps kick up the grimy tone of it.

The track “High ‘Til I Die” goes back into that trap direction as they talk about always being lifted & Lee Carver just shows why he’s my favorite Alla Xul Elu member. Especially when he said “Breaking up weed on the case of The Green Book”. I’m kinda disappointed that “Right Here Ninja” makes no reference or homage to “Here I Am” off of Blaze’s classic debut 1 Less G n da Hood, but the futuristic sound is fresh. “Feeling Stuck” is a great way to finish the EP, as it’s a guitar-trap driven cut about how COVID has effected everyone.

Despite my expectations not being super high given that this is a holiday-themed EP, I actually like it more than that short Songs of Samhain compilation that MNE put out this past fall. It continues to stray away from the wicked shit in favor of a more traditional hip hop vibe much like Revelashen, except most of the songs are weed-related.

Score: 3.5/5

Twiztid – “Revelashen” review

Twiztid is a hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide, both of whom got their start alongside The R.O.C. as part of the trio House of Krazees throughout the early/mid 90’s. After their initial disbandment in 1997, the Insane Clown Posse almost immediately took Twiztid under their wings & signed them Psychopathic Records. But at the end of 2012, the demented duo decided to branch out on their own & started up their own record label Majik Ninja Entertainment just a couple years after. They’ve released a few outings on their own since, with the latest being Mad Season back in April of this year. However, Jamie & Monoxide have decided to go back-to-back & drop their 14th full-length album.

The album starts off with “Hallelujah”, where Twiztid talks about the game being fake over over bass-heavy trap beat from Young Wicked. The next song “Blueprint” talks about going back to their old ways over an ominous instrumental from Seven while the track “We Just Wanna Be Heard” literally speaks for itself over an apocalyptic beat. The song “Get Through the Day” talks about wanting their pain to be taken away over a ScatteredBrains instrumental with a flute in the background & a heavy guitar during the hook while the track “Come Alive” with Kid Bookie sees the 3 talking about living every day like they don’t see the sunlight over a trap beat with blobby bass.

The song “Clear” takes aim at those biting them over an instrumental with a pots & pans loop while the song “Hold Up” with Young Wicked finds the trio talking about pushing it ‘til the wheels fall off over a tropical trap beat. The song “Separate” would have to be my favorite on the entire album as it talks about escapism over an instrumental that continues to build up while the track “Twinz” gets on their shit-talking tip over a boom bap beat with some chimes.

The song “Laughable” with Lex the Hex Master sees the 3 talking about how “one of us has to go & no it won’t be me” over an instrumental with some angelic background vocals while the penultimate track “Change Me” talks about striving to become the person you want to be over an acoustic instrumental. The closer “Never Be Nothing” talks about being misunderstood over a trap beat with some somber piano chords.

Not only is this better than Mad Season, but I’ll also say that this is Twiztid’s best album post-Psychopathic. It all flows together so well as they distance themselves from their horrorcore roots in favor of showing listeners they still have it lyrically this deep into their career & the production only enhances the emotion behind each joint.

Score: 4/5

Majik Ninja Entertainment – “Songs of Samhain” review

This is the new surprise EP from Detroit hip hop label Majik Ninja Entertainment. Founded by Twiztid in 2014, they’ve proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the underground with an all-star lineup of artists & a consistent work ethic. They dropped a fantastic showcase compilation in 2017 called Year of the Sword but almost 3 years later, the label’s coming together once more on Songs of Samhain.

After the “We Only Have So Much Time” intro, the first song “Wash” by the House of Krazees talk about murder over a somewhat quirky beat while the track “9lb. Hammer” by Twiztid is a full-blown rap rock moshpit starter. The song ” Murder Carnage” by Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox & Lex the Hex Master sees the 3 getting violent over a rubbery beat from Godsynth & Stir Crazy but after the “Nursery Rhyme from Another Time” interlude, the track “Die on Samhain” by Alla Xul Elu & the Axe Murder Boyz portrays themselves as serial killers over a nocturnal instrumental.

The track “Death Talk” by the House of Krazees talks about being lunatics over a rock-tinged beat while the song “Haddonfield 2 Crystal Lake” by Twiztid compares themselves to Michael Myers & Jason Voorhees over a somewhat funky beat. The EP finishes with “In My Head”, where Twiztid contemplate about whether or not they’re insane over a spooky instrumental.

Overall, this is a short but sweet surprise effort from one of my favorite hip hop labels in recent memory. All the artists stand out in their own unique way & given everyone’s history in the horrorcore subgenre, they all come together with a consistent batch of songs just in time for the Halloween season.

Score: 3.5/5

Twiztid – “Mad Season” review

This is the surprise 13th full-length album from Detroit hip hop duo Twiztid. Originally starting off as members of the House of Krazees with The R.O.C. before disbanding in 1997, Jamie Madrox & Monoxide were taken eventually under the wings of the Insane Clown Posse & signed to Psychopathic Records shortly after. They ended up staying with them for 15 years, leaving at the end of 2012 to form their own label Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. They’ve released 3 full-length albums on their own since & with the 1 year anniversary of their previous one Generation Nightmare coming this weekend, Jamie & Mono decided to hit us with Mad Season out of the blue.

The opener “Off W/ They Heads” finds the demented duo talking about the occult over a nocturnal trap beat from Young Wicked whereas the next song “Do This 1 More Time” talks about being mentally unstable over a bombastic instrumental. The track “Everything’s Cursed” stays on the horrorcore tip over a rubbery, supernatural beat while song “That’s What They Be Telling Me” airs out the things being heard to them over a groggy trap beat from Godsynth.

The track “F Feelings“ tells their opponents to do their worst over a suspenseful instrumental then the song right after is the latest installment of the “Wasted” series of party anthems that Twiztid does & it’s just as decent as the previous 3. The track “Follow Me” with Hyro the Hero sees the trio talking about feeling electrified over some unsettling bells backed by a set of snares & then there’s the “Hungry Like the Wolf” cover, which Jamie & Jimmy Urine both do a great job at surprisingly.

The song “Never Change” finds Monoxide declaring himself a rebel & Jamie addressing the duo’s falling out with ICP over an haunting piano-trap beat from ScatteredBrains while “Fuck Wit Us” is a Triple Threat cut about smoking weed over an instrumental with an uncanny feel to it. The song “My Bible” with Stevie Stone & Young Wicked sees the 4 talking about bringing smoke over a prominent organ loop while the penultimate track “Slo-Mo” talks about being under the influence over a woozy boom bap beat. The album finishes with “4Get U”, where Twiztid hooks up with Ekoh & Young Wicked to fall about being done dirty in the industry over these icy keyboards.

As solid as Generation Nightmare was, this new album is even better in my personal opinion. I really like how the demented duo sound angrier & return to a more hip hop-based sound on here in contrast to the previous effort attempting to appeal to that Warped Tour crowd.

Score: 3.5/5

The R.O.C. – “Monsters Ain’t Real” review

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The R.O.C. is a horrorcore veteran from Detroit, Michigan who got his start as a member of the House of Krazees with Jamie Madrox & Monoxide. When the latter 2 went onto form the duo Twiztid & sign with Psychopathic Records, The R.O.C. hooked up with Skrapz to put out 1 last album under the HOK name before starting a duo of their own called HaLFBrEEd. Although they would only release 1 official album under the HaLFBrEEd name titled Kontamination, it would go on to become a horrorcore classic. Then in 2008, he signed to Psychopathic’s now defunct Hatchet House sub-label & put out his Welcome to the Darkside EP before “retiring” the following year. Eventually, The R.O.C. returned to making music in 2012 & signed to Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. His long awaited 3rd album Digital Voodoo finally saw the light of day in 2017 & would go down as his magnum opus in my personal opinion but 2 & a half years later, he’s treating fans with his 6th EP.

After the “Have Some” intro, the first song “From Beneath” finds The R.O.C. comparing himself to a demon to over an orchestral trap beat. The track “A Dream” talks about being in a nightmare over a frightening instrumental from Eric Davie while the song “The Chase” talks about being hunted down over a demented instrumental. And then before the “Next Time” outro, the title track paints a vivid picture of insanity over an electronic-tinged instrumental.

If we’re getting a new full-length album from The R.O.C. in 2020, then this is a fantastic appetizer for the main course. He’s always been the most underrated of MNE & this is no exception of proving that from his lyricism getting better with time to his ever-so chilling production skills. Really looking forward to a follow-up to Digital Voodoo.

Score: 4/5

Twiztid – “Generation Nightmare” review

Twiztid is a horrorcore duo from Detroit, Michigan consisting of Jamie Madrox & Monoxide. The duo started off as members of the House of Krazees with The R.O.C. before splitting off in 1997, eventually being taken under the wings of the Insane Clown Posse & signing to Psychopathic Records shortly after. They ended up staying with them for 15 years, leaving at the end of 2012 to form their own label Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. But now coming off the final Vans Warped Tour last summer as well as the 2nd year of their own annual pop culture convention a couple months ago, the demented duo is back on the scene with their 12th full-length album.

After the “Live Forever” intro, we dive into the first song “Phlegm in the Windpipe”. A rap metal fusion where Jamie & Paul pretty much take a jab at society. The track “Speak Of” talks about being unique over an instrumental with some rubbery bass & a quirky synth while the song “Something New” speaks of changing the game over an abrasive beat from 7. The track “Siamese Amazement” is a throwback to the punk sound that they dabbled with on Mutant, Vol. 2 while the song “Sick Mind” talks about being insane over a bass-heavy trap beat from Godsynth. The track “Here with the Dead” vents about their stresses over an empowering instrumental while the song “Disappear” talks about escaping drama & the chaotic beat is perfect. The track “Bring Me Back” serves as an energetic companion to the previous joint while the song “Magic Spellz” is pretty much a refined sequel to Twiztid’s last attempt at going nu metal on “Nothing to You”, which landed on their previous album The Continuous Evilutions of Life’s ?’s. However I don’t know if it’s just me, but Monoxide kinda sounds like he’s impersonating Eddie Vedder on here.

The track “Livin’ @ the Bottom” talks about celebrating themselves over a Three 6 Mafia influenced trap beat & after the short but motivating Jamie solo cut “Skit 17”, the song Let It Flow” boasts about their skills over a minimalist beat. The track “Don’t Be Hatin’” with Young Wicked pretty much speaks for itself over a bouncy instrumental while the song “Role Models” makes clever references to all of the celebrities who’ve committed heinous sexual acts lately over a gloomy beat. The track “Wreck” to me sounds like a cliched rock song that you can find in a sports video game while the song “If It Matters What I Think Now” is a dedication to people who have their backs over an acoustic guitar passage with some drums thrown in. The track “4 the Nightmare Children” is a grimy ode to the outcasts & after the “End of the Beginning” outro, the final song “Strike” is a gruesome showcasing of Twiztid’s newly formed supergroup with Alla Xul Elu called the Venomous 5.

To me, this is better than their mentors’ latest album Fearless Fred Fury. Sure they go for that Warped Tour sound on here, but it seems like Twiztid actually took their time in making an album they wanted to rather than just throwing a bunch of songs together at the last minute.

Score: 4/5