Young Wicked is a 34 year old MC, singer, songwriter, producer, engineer & fashion designer from Denver, Colorado who came up as 1/2 of the Axe Murder Boyz with his older brother Bonez Dubb in 1999. The duo put out 4 albums on their own before signing to Psychopathic Records in 2005, making their debut on the label that following spring by dropping Blood In Blood Out to moderate reception. However, their next full-length outing God’s Hand is considered to by many (including myself) to be their best given how much both of them elevated their lyricism & Otis’ production. This resulted in him becoming Violent J’s protege many years later, dropping his solo debut Slaughter: It’s the Best Medicine in the fall of 2015. Fast forward a couple years later, he jumped ship to Majik Ninja Entertainment after a falling out with his mentor to put out an equally fantastic sophomore effort The Return of the Prodigal Son. But after 4 years of focusing on producing & engineering for others, Young Wicked is rebranding himself for his 3rd album.
After the titular intro, the first song “James” almost had a bit of an electronic feel to it bragging about always killing mics whereas “Game Time” is a hyphy banger saying he puts in work every day. “Fuck That Shit” has some eerie piano chords brushing off his haters just before “M.T.L.B.S. (More Tattoos Less Bullshit)” takes things into trap territory saying that’s exactly what he needs.
Meanwhile on “Ice”, we have Young Wicked jumping on top of a cloudy instrumental to brag about how cold he is leading into the braggadocious “Flex” co-produced by DJ Stigmata. He goes in depth about being under the influence on “Felt So High” with a somewhat wonky beat, but then “Satellite” melodically opens up about being unable to escape his shadows.
The song “Tik Tok” is literally a trap cut about how you can make it by dancing on the titular app while the penultimate track “Racing” works in some guitar passages talking about getting live outside. “Feel Alright” then ends the album with a passionate rock cut about saying he’s doing good despite the world burning.
Now despite the artwork being a piss poor ripoff of my 2nd favorite Metallica album Ride the Lightning, it’s clear as day that Young Wicked is a man of many talents & Activated reminds us of that. He sounds completely rejuvenated & I love how diversity it sounds. Clearly the rebrand is an attempt at trying to reach an audience wider than the juggalo realm, but it’s very respectable.
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.
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.
The Axe Murder Boyz are a duo from Denver, Colorado consisting of brothers Young Wicked & Bonez Dubb. The 2 have been making music together since the late 90s, but didn’t make their breakthrough until the mid-2000s when the Insane Clown Posse signed them to Psychopathic Records. They went on to release 3 albums & an EP with them before signing to Twiztid‘s label Majik Ninja Entertainment on New Year’s Eve 2016. Last we heard from the siblings was in 2018 with their 8th album Muerte & as we get close to the halfway point of this year, they’re back with their 6th EP.
After the intro, we get right into the title track. Where Young Wicked & Bonez Dubb talk about killing their competition over a bassy trap beat from Young Wicked himself. The song “Cantfxckwittus” with Jamie Madrox sees the 3 talking about how MNE’s running the underground over a morbid instrumental while the track “Nothin’ 4 Free” talks about how nothing in hip hop is ever granted to you over a flute-inflicted trap beat.
The song “Murda Shit” gets on the horrorcore tip over over a trap beat with some creepy bells while the penultimate track “Runnitup” is a celebratory banger about their hustle. The EP finishes off with “We Up”, where the siblings talk about their success over a punchy beat with haunting piano loop.
AMB’s been one of my favorites out of Colorado for a while now & this EP just goes to show it. Young Wicked’s production continues to elevate over time as does the chemistry with his brother Bonez Dubb. If they have a new album together in the chamber & this is just a taste of what’s to come, then I’m really looking forward to see what they do on there.
Majik Ninja Entertainment is an underground hip hop label that was founded in 2014 by Detroit hip hop duo Twiztid. The roster has been immensely growing since it’s inception of this year specifically, they’ve dropped 1 great release after another. And now to close out such a great year for them, they’re now giving the fans a compilation featuring new songs from every artist on the label. After a 90 second intro, we then get into the first song “Heads Will Roll” by Gorilla Voltage & Jamie Madrox. Here, they‘re bragging about how their skills will amaze you over a sinister instrumental. The next track “Turn It Up” by Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Bonez Dubb & Lex the Hex Master sees the 3 MCs aggressively getting in your face over a chaotic beat while the track “Fucked” by Boondox, Gorilla Voltage & The R.O.C. talks about how crazy they all are over a haunting instrumental. After a 15 second skit with “Level Up!”, we then get into the next song “Their Fault” by Jamie Madrox & Young Wicked. Here, they’re predominantly singing about those who never gave them a chance & while the vocals during the first half seem nasal, it definitely picks up on the second half. The song “Ignite” by King Gordy, Mr. Grey & Zodiac MPrint talks about how they’re never gonna fall over a killer rap rock instrumental & then “Cut ‘Em Up” by Twiztid & Young Wicked rapidly talk about killing their competition over an abrasive yet eerie instrumental. The song “Lights Out” by G-Mo Skee, Mr. Grey & Twiztid angrily talks about getting murderous on their last day alive & the rap metal instrumental on here fits the vibe like a glove. After the 30-second “Harassment” skit, we then dive into “Don’t Fuck wit Us” by ClocworC, the House of Krazees & Lex the Hex Master. The lyrics are self explanatory, but they’re delivered fantastically over this menacing yet thumping instrumental. The song “Better Than Ever B4” by the Axe Murder Boyz, G-Mo Skee, Lex the Hex Master & Triple Threat talk knowing now than ever before about over some twinkling piano keys & an organ while “Flix ‘n Chill” by ClocworC, Triple Threat & Young Wicked is a predictably decent love song with a wavy instrumental. The song “Get High” by the Axe Murder Boyz, L.A.R.S., Mr. Grey & Triple Threat is self-explanatory weed anthem with a druggy beat while “Galaxy” by G-Mo Skee, Jamie Madrox & King Gordy sees the 3 looking for a challenge over a synthesizer-heavy instrumental. The song “Don’t Tell Me” by Boondox, Gordy & Twiztid tells the haters they’ll never listen to them over a grimy yet thunderous beat & then after the 20 second “Summon the Majik Ninja” skit, we then get into the final song in the standard edition “B.N.U.” (an acronym for Brand New Underground). It’s an explosive posse cut where everyone on the label all talk about their prowess. The “Did You Unplug It?” skit is the final track on here, but there is a bonus disc with 9 tracks. All of which are new solo cuts from each signee on the label, with the exception of Lex the Hex Master’s being previously released on his latest album Beyond Redemption. As a whole, this was a great way for Majik Ninja to end their 2017 & it’s just another example of why they’re one of my favorite labels out right now. The production is gritty as usual & everyone compliments each other fantastically. Can’t wait to see them continue their string of successfully raw releases in 2018