The 2019 installment in the L.A. trio discography, There Existed An Addiction To Blood, sees the musicians explore a different layer of the hip hop world: the horrorcore. The main elements of this genre are present (gruesome horror tales, vivid expressions of urban violence, vampires, and serial killers) but, at the same time, clipping. managed to reinvent the hardcore style blending it sonically with a heavy industrial clanking production that explodes in outbursts of noise, and thematically with the social and racial themes (drugs, trap house, gangs, racism and violence against black people) of the uncomfortable side of the 2010s that, directly or allegorically, are addressed by the lyrics.
Daveed Diggs delivers aggressive and technical bars, also in extrabeat, that help sustain the infectious beats, which put the listener in a situation of uneasiness and anxiety, just like the John Carpenter‘s movies (The Thing, Halloween) whose soundtrack influenced the album. The Carpenter’s presence is heard in tracks like “Nothing is Safe”, that starts with creepy high piano notes in the beginning and evolves into an (anti)cathartic chorus that evokes a feeling of uncertainty and constant danger.
In “La Mala Ordina” (such as the Fernando Di Leo’s 1972 crime movie, The Italian Connection) or “Club Down”, the trio expresses their reinterpretation of horrorcore: an ethereal, swift flow suspended on a drone enriched by sounds of screams and clangor of metallic broken things that seem torn apart by a shadowy presence: this particular style of production keeps the tension high as if the listener was viewing a well-made thriller movie.
The whole project seems to have a cinematic nature, integrating different interludes taken by horror movies, and borrowing the title itself from Bill Gunn’s 1973 vampire horror film, Ganja and Hess. These interludes, though, weigh down the tracklist and make the work feel a little bloated, at times.
Retracing the process of liberation and emancipation of African Americans (Diggs names Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Bobby Hutton, Stokely Carmichael), in “Blood of the Fang”, there is the key to understanding the whole project: a dark wonder about how the human race has always been addicted to blood and how nothing can be seriously taken before it has bled.
You can find There Existed An Addiction To Blood on Spotify.
Below, the “Blood of the Fang” music video on YouTube.