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

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

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

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

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

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

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