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

Majik Ninja Entertainment – “Attack of the Ninjas: The Album” review

This is a brand new showcase compilation from Detroit underground label Majik Ninja Entertainment. Founded in 2014 by Twiztid & their manager George Vlahakis only 2 years following the demented duo’s departure from Psychopathic Records, 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. But to celebrate the 5th annual Attack of the Ninjas, everyone on MNE right now & the 2 acts on their Welcome to the Underground sub-label are uniting as one alongside a couple outside collaborators for an exclusive compilation given away at the event.

The opener “Are You Scared?” by Oh! The Horror & Twiztid is a pop punk/rap crossover telling their haters to say their prayers whereas “Each & Every” by Bukshot, Jamie Madrox & Lex the Hex Master finds the trio jumping on top of a west coast instrumental from Fritz the Cat saying they’re broken & don’t feel fine. Buk & Jamie stick around as they enlist Boondox & Mr. Grey to spit the wicked shit on “Horror” down to the Godsynth & Stir Crazy production, but then Gibby Stites & Blaze Ya Dead Homie come in for the atmospheric “Come Up” saying ain’t nobody doing what they’re doing.

“Let ‘Em Burn” by Anybody Killa, the Axe Murder Boyz, Bukshot, Crucifix & Monoxide come together on top of a trap instrumental from 7 to get in their arsonist bag just before the futuristic “Space Between Us” sees Zodiac MPrint reuniting to talk about a toxic relationship. “Kill” by Insane E, Jamie Madrox, Oh! The Horror & Redd goes into a rubbery direction with the help of Grady Finch saying no one’s on their level while “Chin Check” by Bukshot, Gibby Stites, Joey Black, Lee Carver & The R.O.C. encourages the listener to mosh despite the out-of-place forlorn production.

The track “We Are the Underground” by Boondox, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Gibby Stites & Oh! The Horror needs no further explanation lyrically diving into a trap/metal fusion whereas the final song “Boohoo” by Gibby Stites, Lex the Hex Master & The R.O.C. ends the comp with a boom bap-tinged shot at their detractors even though the hook is a bit tedious. The actual closer though is just a remix to “Maelstrom” off of Cabal’s most recent debut album The Watchers featuring the Super Famous Fun Time Guys & the Venomous 5.

I don’t expect all that much whenever a label puts out a project showcasing their artists & although I enjoyed the last 2 that MNE has put out, I’m a bit torn on this one. Some of the collabs on here come off to me as natural, but then there are others that seem hamfisted & in no way shape or form am I trying to be disrespectful to anyone because I’ve given a good share of positive feedback on the label’s output throughout the years like with Revelashen & Krimson Crow.

Score: 3/5

Alla Xul Elu – “Necronomichron 2: Dead by Bong” review

Alla Xul Elu is an Ohio-based horrorcore trio consisting of Billy Obey, Joey Black & Lee Carver. Originally breaking out in 2015 as a duo, Billy & Joe started out by releasing their first 2 albums Head of Horns & Sci-Co that same year. This was followed up with their 4/20-themed debut EP Necronomichron in 2017 & adding Carver into the fold shortly after. But it wasn’t until Twiztid signed them to Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2018 when the Xul Boys’ music got increasingly better. Their MNE debut The Almighty is unquestionably the greatest horrorcore album of the 2010s, their 2019 sophomore EP Church of Xul took a much darker approach & the trio’s previous album Mauxuleum made it in the top 10 of my Best Releases of 2020 list despite them ditching their signature boom bap sound for a more industrial, trap metal direction. But to celebrate the 4 year anniversary of the original Necronomichron, it’s only right for A.X.E. to celebrate by dropping their 5th full-length album as a sequel.

After the “Taking a Trip” intro, the first song “An Ominous Shack” has an unhinged boom bap beat from BAD MiND (who produced all but 3 tracks on the whole album) as the trio detail a fucked up vacation & then “Down in the Dark” goes into a more industrial direction with lyrics about making plans with Mary Jane. The song “Deja Vu” is a grimy sequel to the title track of the first Necronomichron while “Fire It Up” dives into that trap metal sound provided by the Zombie Aristocrats & of course the lyrics are about lighting up the weed.

“Smoke” is a chaotic anthem about not wanting their high to be blown & then “Dead by Bong” feels more like an interlude as the lyrics are very repetitive despite the electronic-influenced production. The song “Alternate Dimension” is a dusty sequel to “Another Dimension” with a stellar Blaze Ya Dead Homie verse while “Within the Trees” is a gruesome horrorcore cut detailing forest monsters.

After the “Necronomicream” skit, the track “Munchiez” is a sinister depiction about how they handle being hungry when stoned while “Pass Away” contains some ominous organ harmonies as they talk about staying High & avoiding daylight. The album finishes off with “Kandarian Dabber”, where the A.X.E. deliver a wicked anthem to dabbin’.

Necronomichron is one of my favorite projects that Xul has ever put out, but this is a rare instance where I prefer the sequel over the predecessor. It’s great to hear the trio returning to the very sound that they become known for & the marijuana-themed lyrics have evolved tremendously.

Score: 4.5/5

Alla Xul Elu – “Mauxuleum” review

This is the 4th full-length album from Ohio horrorcore trio Alla Xul Elu. Starting off as a duo, Billy Obey & Joey Black started making noise in the underground by releasing their first 2 albums Head of Horns & Sci-Co in 2015. Couple years later, Lee Carver joined & they dropped their debut EP Necronomichron that same year. However it wasn’t until 2018 that the Xul made their biggest break when Twiztid signing them to their label Majik Ninja Entertainment, dropping their 3rd album The Almighty shortly after & then their 2nd EP Church of Xul last spring to universal acclaim. Fast forward to now, Xul is enlisting Slasher Dave to help take listeners a trip into the Mauxuleum.

After the “E.N.D.”, the title track that kicks the album talks about the Mauxuleum being worse than Hell over a ghostly beat whereas the next song “Blood Moon & Back” is an unexpectedly dark love tune that goes over better than you’d expect. The track “Rituals of Rot” talks about becoming undead over a spine-tingling beat while the song “Donna, the Dead” talks about the titular Donda taking her own life over a groggy instrumental.

The song “L.I.F.E. (Let It Fucking End)” talks about how going on living is a joke over an industrial beat while the track “Deathbed” talking about their desire to rest in peace for eternity over an abrasively eerie instrumental. The song “Nails” talks about failing when they try over a bass-heavy instrumental while the track “Rigor Erectus” talks about necrophilia over a dusty boom bap beat.

The song “Deadline” talks about purgatory over an horror movie-esque instrumental with some heavy guitars during the hook while the track “Random Axe of Violence” portrays themselves as serial killers over an intoxicating beat. The song “Mask Made Me Do It” talks about their Forever Faces over a Frankenstein-like beat fusing boom bap, metal & even trap whereas “The Harvester” that finishes the album off talks about how there’s no escaping from the titular character’s clutch over a bleak instrumental with a guitar wailing in the background.

These guys have become the greatest horrorcore act in recent memory & they really outdid themselves on this new album over here. Not only do the lyrics continue to delve deeper into more disturbing territory, but Slasher Dave really hones it & cooks up some of the best production of his entire career.

Score: 4.5/5

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

Alla Xul Elu – “Church of Xul” review

Alla Xul Elu is an Ohio based horrorcore trio consisting of Billy Obey, Joey Black & Lee Carver. They started off as a duo, releasing their first 2 albums Head of Horns & Sci-Co in 2015. 2 years later, Lee joined & they dropped their debut EP Necronomichron that same year. However, it wasn’t until last year that the Xul made their biggest break to date with Twiztid signing them to their label Majik Ninja Entertainment. Their latest album/MNE debut The Almighty that dropped last fall is a modern horrorcore masterpiece in my eyes & now to accompany Twiztid’s brand new album Generation Nightmare, the 3 are back with their 2nd EP.

After the “Welcome” intro, we go straight into the first song “In the Church of Xul”. Where the trio tell you what goes in their world over a slow yet sinister beat. The track “We Are One” advises you to believe over a nocturnally atmospheric boom bap beat while the song “Preay” gets murderous over a nocturnal beat. The track “To the Tome of the Black Tongue” talks about possession over a haunting instrumental while “The Goddamned” continues the murderous themes & the atmosphere in the instrumental fits fantastically. The EP then finishes with “Xuligans”, which is essentially a tribute to their fans with an old school-style instrumental.

Despite being an EP, this is just as fantastic as The Almighty. It sounds a lot darker than that previous album & I love how they hold it on their own to prove that they’re really are bringing a breath of fresh air in such an underrated subgenre of hip hop.

Score: 4.5/5