Organizers: Phantasy Lounge & Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue
Date/Location: Sunday March 8, 2020 at the AC Lounge
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
I wanted to share the experience and Spooky night that went down on March 8th at the AC lounge. It marked a unique experience for Hip-Hop and Horror lovers! The emcees and producers brought horror to life that night! The crowd vibed off the performances and got lost in the “spooky energy.” Honestly, you had to be there to feel it and embrace every lyric and beat inside your mind. This event allowed people with different tastes to come together and see these two genres collide! There were 7 emcees and 7 producers who teamed up to sample a horror themed song and do their own unique spin on it.
Doble Philo collaborated with Carinoe, and rocked the floor with a Spanish flow of murderous words that went perfect with the spooky Friday the 13th beat. Then, Yazi went up next and spread her high energy vibes. She casted a spell with her lyrics that got the crowd going. The spookiness was definitely felt as the Candyman beat of Speak Ez played throughout the venue. Legion X came up on stage and put on a show with his dope costume along with PottieMouth’s eerie Exorcist beat to add more fuel to the performance. Smalls Uno aka Sire Spooky joined forces with Mike Mackey to conjure up an eerie remix of the Phantasm beat! Mike Mackey wore a mask of an old man to symbolize the Tall Man from the movie, very dope! Then Boxcutta Maxx performed along side Shrmpboy and killed their own creepy version of Halloween.
Master Villain shocked us all with a detailed killer story. As Verde went all in with the Suspiria beat that bewitched us all in, and made us feel as if we were in a scary movie! Fade Green used his creative mind by getting the audience involved in his performance. He had the crowd participate in providing him random words to use for his epic freestyle . DJ Root’s Nightmare on Elm street beat allowed every word that Fade said to flow smoothly, and it made you feel as if you had to watch your surroundings as if something was coming out to get you!
It was a very dope event and something new for the San Diego Hip Hop scene! Nothing like this has been done before where Horror meets Hip Hop, definitely a night to remember! Clips of horror movies were playing on the different screens in the background. There were cardboard cut outs of Freddy Krueger and Pennywise the Clown surrounding the venue. There were also prizes given out to the top 3 best duo’s and for the audience there was a raffle for some horror icon Funko’s, horror socks and Ouija!!! There was also some live art painting by the talented Daniel Peters. Also some art vendors and some video games available for people to play and mingle with friends and strangers. If you didn’t attend you missed out! Below is some footage of the event.
Testimonials about the Event:
“I thought the video games were a nice touch. I had the chance to interact with people I knew and didn’t know. The costumes were dope too. I really enjoyed the old school scary movies playing too. I wanted to go home and watch a few. I think the artists that performed with different producers was a great idea. I’ve never seen anything like that and that was the highlight of the night for me!” – Anthony Braxton
“The event was really unique. I was inspired by everyone in costume and the horror movies playing on the screen. It was a real interactive event with the games and art for sale. I loved the element of the raffle and contest for the talent. Matching up producers with different artists really set this event apart. It was dope to see how the pairs worked together to create horror themed performances. The vibe was fun, and to be honest different from other hip hop events. I felt the people who came all came from different walks of life and brought a genuine energy to the event.” – Kristina
“7 Octoberz (Gaby’s) events never disappoint! This last Horror n Hip Hop theme party she brought 7 producers and 7 emcees together and everyone gave a hell of a show! The detail and creativeness that 7 Octoberz brought to this event was amazing! Keep up the amazing work, can’t wait for more!” – Emeriam
“It was a horror meets hip hop event. With both attendees and performers in costume, it gave it a Halloween feel. It was different, but definitely dope! A nice change of scenery.” – Sick Rick
“If you didn’t get a chance to go to the AC Lounge on March 8th. U should be a lil Mad at yourself. 7 Octoberz had a super dope show that day. Some of the most cool Hip Hop artists of San Diego were there. U had Fade Green, Legion X, Boxcutta Maxx, Smalls Uno and Yazi. I could go on & on & producers as well with a good ear for dope music. In my opinion it was Genius of her. I’ve been to many shows at the AC lounge, but 7 Octoberz had Street Fighter, Super Smash bros etc. & raffles prices. It made it that much more exciting to be there! I had no idea what I was going to get into when I went because it’s 7 Octoberz & if u follow her page you’ll know what I’m talking about. I was lucky enough to win a pair of Gremlin socks that day. I just hope more shows could be more exciting. I felt like it was Halloween in March & I’m an October baby. It made it that much more fun for me to attend! It was an experience! – Halo the Kid
“As an artist getting into character is an important factor. Creativity wasn’t an issue 7 Octoberz hosted Halloween in March 8th 2020. Full moon was out the vibe was bloody! A random selection between rapper and beat producers was selected to murder a live performance within Halloween topics. Gory classics on tv screens and Bloody Marys at the bar. Rappers Producers and DJs were all wearing costumes it was Spooky! The show was fire🔥. One Hell of a night. 😈 -Johnny Rayos⚡ Thank you for reading my event write up. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads! While you’re at it follow my blog on social media @7octoberz on Instagram and Facebook! Also follow me on Spotify, iTunes, Anchor.fm/7octoberz and Google Play Music to listen to my audio content under: “Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue”.
As 2018 comes to a close, I can say it was a great year for hip hop and the culture! We were blessed with so much dope music! At one point I have to admit; it became hard to keep up with projects that seemed to be dropping almost every week.
Rap definitely made its presence known in 2018! Even movie soundtracks were curated or produced by hip hop artists. From Black Panther, The Grinch, Creed II, to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse just to name a few.
There were also amazing podcasts, shows and interviews that were impactful for hip hop culture. From Joe Budden’s Podcast and his deal with Spotify. To his new revolt show “State of the Culture”. Genius also brought their ‘A’ game with dope interviews, By: Rob Markman just to shout out a few. We were even serenaded early on this year with great rap and r&b albums that set the tone for what was to come!
In the era where music is dominated by streaming, singles and the life expectancy of a record depleting quickly after release due to competition, there were albums that managed to standout for me. These albums became my soundtrack to 2018!
It was difficult to come up with my top 2018 rap list, but I was able to get it done! I selected these albums due to the following: the great content, lyricism, replay value, catchy hooks, flow, cadence and the cohesiveness of the album. I separated my top 20 rap albums into two categories: mainstream rap and lyrical/underground rap. They are not listed in any particular order.
By no means am I saying rappers cannot be lyricists, but I found it easier to separate my list this way to show the rap albums that were radio played vs. the ones that were more for the streets, streamed by die-hard fans or most likely overlooked due to so much content being released this year.
I will briefly cover why the top 10 mainstream rap albums made my list. I would have gone into the other albums selected, but I could go on forever! Next year my goal is to review albums/movies/tv-series’ throughout 2019, so by the end of the year there is no need for me to cover why I selected those projects. 😈🎙
Top 10: 2018 Mainstream Rap albums :
1. Pusha-T – Daytona
Pusha be that dude that is always bringing his lyrical skills to every project. He is always criticized for his songs being about drugs, but he always manages to do a refreshing new take on what he calls luxury street rap! His lyrics use drug references and metaphors to tell a story, he is always bringing those bars, punchlines and double entendres. This year he made waves with his diss track that was aimed at Drake, “The Story of Adidon”. We all know who took that “W” in that battle, if that is what you want to call it given Drake never responded! Yes Drake still dominated the game as he aways does, but Push proved why he is an OG in the rap game. Pusha-T’s album was short with only 7 tracks, but it worked in his favor. I replayed the album like 3 times and I still have his album in rotation. The lyrics, cohesiveness and Kanye’s production/samples were on point! Definitely the best project from all the G.O.O.D Music releases that dropped this year next to Teyana’s. Congrats to Push on his Grammy nomination well deserved!
2. Mac Miller – Swimming
R.I.P Mac! Hip Hop lost Mac Miller this year, still can’t believe he is no longer here :(..He blessed us with a beautiful and soulful album! It’s like he foreshadowed that this would be his last album. A lot of his songs in this album were very personal about self care and growth. My favorite track on the album, 2009 just gets me every time! The lyrics are simple, but the melody is so melancholy. You can tell it was created with feeling. Overall I loved the album for being very introspective, the soulful melodies, positive message and the dope live instrumentation! Wish he could have been here to celebrate his Grammy nomination!
3. Reason – There You Have It
TDE’s new signee definitely proved why he was chosen to be part of the camp! I was happily surprised at how dope this project was. The track Situations with the Usher ” U Don’t have to Call” sample was crazy!!! Overall the production and samples were great! Enjoyed the storytelling, he went in with his street lyricism and dope punch lines!
4. Cozz – Effected
Dreamville label did their thang this year! Cozz’s second album Effected had an old school LA vibe, it makes sense he is from South Central so he had to represent! Loved the production and sonically it was wavy. This is one of those albums that each track you can just play in your car, have it on replay and just vibe to it!
5. J. Cole – KOD (J. Cole bodied all his features this year by the way!)
KOD dropped early in the year, April to be exact and each song I still have in rotation. The KOD tour was amazing! I love that J. Cole interacts with his fans, explains the backstory to his lyrics and speaks on the significance of each song. I have been lucky enough to see him perform live twice and every time it is a dope experience! I can honestly say his body of work and personality bring his albums to life! He is this generations best Rap performer! Once again he delivered a solid project. He used trap beats to show his versatility and that lyricism can still be done on those type of tracks. He also delivered a positive message to the youth about mental health, lust and drug use/abuse. Again with no features only Kill Edward lol!
6. Jim Jones – Wasted Talent
Jim Jones beat me to the punch and created a dope concept that was based on one of my all time favorite movies ‘A Bronx Tale’. He sampled scenes from the movie which I loved! He managed to bring that New York grittiness back in this album. In the era of trap beats it was refreshing to hear that old school NY sound. Jim Jones pulled it off nicely!
7. J.I.D – Dicaprio 2
Once again another Dreamville project that went hard! J.I.D is one of the rappers I consider to be in the newer generation era of rap. He gives me hope rap and hip hop will be alive for years to come! Even though he has been in the rap game for about 8 years give or take, I feel he has started to reach the fame and recognition in the mainstream that he deserves! This album definitely puts him on the map and shows off what he has to offer! Can’t wait to see him evolve as an emcee! His flow, cadence and lyricism are on another level!
8. Denzel Curry – TABOO
Denzel has easily become one of my favorite rappers of this generation. His dark production, lyrics and sound is something I gravitate towards. Especially being a horror fan and hip hop lover! Denzel is reminiscent of the 90’s horror-core era! Taboo was a mixture of a dark and light side of Denzel Curry’s wicked mind! Even his visuals for “Clout Cobain” was dark, but he delivered a great message. I won’t do any spoilers so check out this album and his music video if you haven’t done so!
9. Bas – Milky Way
Bas another Dreamville signee who dropped a unique sounding album. It had an exotic vibe to each track. Of course my favorite track was one of the singles, “Tribe” ft. J. Cole. As mentioned J. Cole killed every feature this year and this is no exception! This album has a relaxing feel, poetic lyrics and wonderful melodies! Bas style of rap reminds me a bit of Wale, so if you are a Wale fan and never heard Bas check him out!
10. Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 3
I admit I been sleeping on the Griselda camp, but better late than never! Glad I was put onto this album. The GxFR crew: Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine and Benny the Butcher are bringing back that gritty, drug/gangster rap! This album is the definition of pure lyricism, punchlines, dope production and great storytelling! Benny lives up to his rap name! It’s surgical rap each word cuts you like a blade, he is a dope spitter! The rest of his crew had dope albums this year as well!
11. Bonus: Meek Mill – Championships
This year Meek literally made it to the championships! He was released from prison and dropped an album that was inspired by his situation and experience in the prison system. From beginning to end you can hear and tell this project was highly influenced by his prison time and how it affected his relationships. He used his voice to speak on issues about mass incarceration that is targeted toward the black community, black on black crime, the gang mentality used to keep the black community controlled, police brutality, fake friends, street PTSD and of course his trap bangers. He proved that even in your lowest moments you can rise and come back stronger! This album is proof of that!
Honorable Mentions: Logic -YSIV Freddie Gibbs – Freddie Jay Rock -Redemption Buddy – Harlan & Alondra Mozzy – Gangland Landlord T. I. – Dimetrap Flatbush Zombies – Vacation in Hell. There were many more, but had to cut the list short.
Top 10: 2018 Lyrical/Underground Rap Albums:
1. Canibus – Full Spectrum Dominance 1
2. Apathy – The Widows Son
3. Canibus – Full Spectrum Dominance 2
4. Vinnie Paz- The Pain Collector
5. Joell Ortiz & Apollo Brown – Mona Lisa
6. The Underachievers – After the Rain
7. Jedi Mind Tricks – The Bridge and the Abyss
8. Locksmith & Apollo Brown – No Question
9. Locksmith – Ali
10. Conway the Machine – Blakk Tape
Honorable Mentions: Evidence – Weather or Not Royce da 5’9 – Book of Ryan Black Thought- Streams of Thought Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Hermit and the Recluse – Orpheus vs. the Sirens
2018 Best Verses/Lyrics:
To change it up a bit I wanted to also share my top 10 favorite verses/lyrics of 2018. As mentioned there was so much dope projects that dropped that I might not have mentioned here, but it doesn’t mean they were forgotten. This list might included verses/lyrics that might not have made it to my list of best 2018 albums.
I thought in this section I would also include my favorite verse from a poem I wrote this year and performed it at my first open mic.
‘3’ By: G Lyric:
“Anubis vibes, I’m a jackal Not easily rattled Fuck the forbidden apple Knowledge freed me from these shackles My brain on a different channel Always see things from a different angle Obsessed with three’s, pyramids and triangles”
Top 10 Verses/Lyrics of 2018:
Janelle Monae – Django Jane: “Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it Y’all can’t ban it, made out like a bandit They been tryin’ hard just to make us all vanish I suggest they put a flag on a whole ‘nother planet Jane Bond, never Jane Doe and I Django, never Sambo Black and white, yeah that’s always been my camo It’s lookin’ like y’all gon’ need some more ammo
I cut ’em off, I cut ’em off, I cut ’em off like Van Gogh”
Black Thought – Twofifteen (whole song he goes in!): “Who the technical culprit? I don’t mess with no vultures I’m electrical voltage, not the regular dosage Too obsessive compulsive, I’m a fuckin’ explosive Mixed message in a bottle, I left with the postman I’m that arachnophobia, black petroleum Ceremoniously holy when at the podium Even though it’s hotter than weapons-grade plutonium”
Pusha-T – The Games We Play: “This ain’t for the conscious, this is for the mud-made monsters Who grew up on legends from outer Yonkers Influenced by niggas straight outta Compton, the scale never lies I’m two-point-two incentivized If you ain’t energized like the bunny for drug money Or been paralyzed by the sight of a drug mummy This ain’t really for you, this is for the Goya Montoya
Who said I couldn’t stop, then afforded me all the lawyers The only kingpin who ain’t sinkin’ Chess moves are made, my third eye ain’t blinkin Stay woke, nigga, or get out”
Canibus – The Odds (Both albums were lyrically amazing!! that is why he is my #1 fav MC): “Hypnotized by the magic practice Pragmatic practicalist poetry in motion by accident And cry like I never asked for this The experiment for buzz, that’s what Hip Hop was I stutter and s-s-s-shit on you cuz The great Pun breath control vernacular Ginger extract with cold press Canibus oil so elaborate
Asymetric incription eyeballs can’t see”
J. Cole – Pretty Little Fears: “Beautiful black child, come and share your black cloud For your vibe and your smile, I don’t mind a lil’ rain I’m your dog, ears perk up at the sound of your name Count on your main, wildfire, can’t handle your flame Download your shame, wild high, come drown in your fragrance
You that red pill that a nigga found in the Matrix Before I had you this shit was fantasy You plant a seed to grow some roots, a branch and leaves Becomes a tree of life until our nights are filled”
The Underachievers – Channeling: “I learned a lot from the other side Destroyed and built my mind Showed me the drunken side, the different way the colors vibe But every chapter in your life changes like the season Can’t depend on a drug when its controlling how you feelin’
Can’t depend on getting high just to give your life meaning Everything in moderation but a nigga couldn’t see it Been abusing different things and convinced myself I need it ’til it went from a pleasure to a nigga just fiendin’ But you know that we could weather the storm Learn to perform with the heart Like throwing darts, a nigga hittin’ the mark I dont regret I always learn from the dark”
Apathy – Hypnosis: “Through your stargate, supernovas onto your star shape Elders try to tell us that we can’t escape our fate Were far from the days where they stargaze Now we man ships that absorb cosmic rays Over the radio, talkin’ hoes into fellatio
Sapiosexual so I kicked the golden ratio Transmittin’ like the last man livin’ So my writtens hold more weight than King James editions Charles Dickens and Lord Francis Bacon Believe in the creator but I don’t believe in Satan I believe the Devil’s a Homosapien And Heaven and Hell exist in your cranium”
J. Cole – Sojourner: “Born into pain, alcoholic veins Over-analytical brain a product of the shame And runnin’ from a past, that’s checkered like the game Somewhere ‘long the way somebody snatched my peace and main Maybe that’s the reason I spent decades seekin’ fame
And fortune hopin’ that a proper portion would contain The sadness in my eyes, remember when I came In this music business, all their questions was insane “Why you never smile in your pictures?” I refrain From givin’ you the answer ’cause that answer wasn’t plain”
Meek Mill – Stay Woke: “How can I pledge allegiance to the flag When they killin’ all our sons, all our dads? I come from a place, when you kill your own brother you can brag Like he got bodies, but that’s a fad, no, that’s a fact I’m screamin’ out at your corner, nigga, that’s a trap
Screamin’ out at your homie, nigga, that’s a rat Catch a case with him, bet he crack” The odds against you and they double stacked, stay woke
070 Shake – I Laugh When I’m with Friends but Sad When I’m Alone ( This whole songs is emotionally amazing!): “Don’t be alarmed, it’ll get brighter, it’ll get better It’s ’cause we are fighters and tougher than leather The strong you is inside, but you just haven’t met her Only we control our storm because we are the weather Don’t get how I could love the things that really torn me
Remember tellin’ myself that I was quittin’ in the mornin’ And did you really try and help or was you tryna tell a story? It’s okay ’cause I got me and I don’t need you to feel sorry”
Bonus: YBN Cordae – Old Ni**as (This was a response to J. Cole’s 1985, I had overlooked this young rapper, but this record gave me hope that there are still younger rappers who got shit to offer the rap game and care about Hip Hop culture! I will be on the look out for YBN Cordae in 2019. I feel he has potential to become the next best rapper from the newer generation.):
“Let’s take it back: when hip hop originated And old niggas said it was wack, they couldn’t take it And called it a lil’ trend, said it wouldn’t last Now, it’s the number one genre as the time passed Young niggas won’t listen and we know it, ha But old niggas always talk and never show it, uh You gotta practice what you preach and the classes that you teach We’ll eventually listen, my mind mentally prison, uh Lately, all my idols, they been failin’ me Catchin’ sexual assaults and some felonies Then, you want me to listen what you tellin’ me And wanna hate when we sing our lil’ melodies And other idols, they be broke, get your funds in order And Kanye West is a Trump supporter Then, we got R. Kelly and Bill Cosby Who still probably got lil’ girls in the Hills lobby And these supposed to be our heroes? Negro, please”
I also have a top 10 list of R&B/Soul albums. Not only was it a great year for rap, but also R&B/Soul. There are so many new dope R&B artists bringing back that nostalgic 90s R&B sound like Brent Faiyaz, DVSN and CVIRO & GXNVS to name a few. As well as just great crooners and singers both old and new school artists. These projects made my list for the same reasons I listed above. The only addition as to why I also selected these albums was the vibe and feeling I felt when the artists sang with emotion and brought the lyrics to life!
Top 10: 2018 R&B or Soul Albums:
1. Kali Uchis – Isolation
2. The Internet – Hive Mind
3. Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.
4. 6lack – East Atlanta Love Letter
5. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
6. Russ – Zoo
7. SIR – November
8. Brent Faiyaz – Lost EP
9. H.E.R. – I Used to Know Her – The Prelude
10. Trevor Jackson – Rough Draft Pt. 1
Honorable Mentions: They – Fireside EP Ty Dolla Sign & Jeremih – Mih-Ty CVIRO & GXNXVS – Now you Know EP Nao – Saturn Masego – Lady Lady Leon Bridges – Good Thing H.E.R.- I Used to Know Her Pt.2 EP
The horror genre did not fall behind in 2018! There were great tv shows and movies that released this year. Netflix surprised me on the horror gems it dropped. I have created two lists: Top 10 favorite horror movies and Top 5 favorite horror tv shows. I also decided to make this section a little different and include my top 5 favorite horror movie quotes. Read below if you dare!😈
2018 Top 10 Horror Movies:
1. Hereditary – (SPOILER BELOW)
This film had a unique story/plot about the demons that get passed on to us, dark family history and also how we never really know our relatives. Everything about this movie was amazing! The pace was perfect it built up to what was to come, great acting, creepiness vibes thru the roof and graphic decapitation scene!
2. A Quiet place
Another original plot in the era of horror remakes! They added a new type of monster/creature to the horror universe, def a must see (Bird Box joke lol), just don’t speak or scream!
Finally a movie that matches Nicholas Cage’s craziness lol.. and the scene where they played “Cielito Lindo” added an awesome touch to it!
4. Summer of 84
80s serial killer movie with kids count me in! Nostalgia at its finest! It was a mix of Fright Night (the original), Stranger Things and Disturbia.
5. The Endless
Cult, sci-fi horror and time loop = Awesomeness!
Art the Clown makes Pennywise look like a friendly clown lol. This movie had a lot of gore and one of the scenes was graphic yet I could not look away and didn’t know if I should laugh or be shocked lol
Indian mythology about a demon god. Touches on greed, karma and a curse/boon passed through generations! Great foreign film!
Argentinian horror movie nothing like I have ever seen. Loved it! It had me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going on and some good jump scares!
Nazi + War + Zombie like experiments = Horror Action top notch!
10. The House That Jack Built
This film takes you inside a serial killers mind who has OCD and obsession with art. As well as the POV of a serial killer, a bit graphic, but not as gory as I expected. The way the movie was filmed was cinematically remarkable! I admit this is the first Lars Von Trier film I’ve watched, but now I will have to check out some of his other films. Loved the dark humor. I found myself laughing at some scenes that normally one should not find amusing.
Honorable Mentions: Veronica The Ritual Pyewacket Annihilation Tales from the Hood 2 Suspiria (have NOT yet watched it, but I heard amazing things and love the original. I will be watching it once it releases digitally)
2018 Top 5 Horror TV-Series:
1. The Haunting of Hill House
My favorite horror show hands down this year! Beautifully written, a new spin on Shirley Jackson’s book, great character development and a great cast!
2. Chilling adventures of Sabrina
Loved this show a darker version of Sabrina based on the comic books under the same name!
3. Eli Roth’s History of Horror
Eli Roth did his thing with this history of horror! He covered almost all the sub genres from Zombies, Slashers to monsters. It is a horror documentary style type series. Commentary from different horror directors, actors to special effects guru’s. A must watch for horror fans.
4. The Purge
I thought the whole purge storyline had been used up and no new fresh ideas would be good enough for a show, but I was happily surprised with this series. The character development was great, each episode I tuned in to see each storyline and what would happen to the characters.
5. Into the Dark (currently still airing episodes on Hulu)
Honorable Mention: Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 – still heartbroken that it was cancelled!
Top 5 favorite horror movie quotes of 2018:
“In this town, Michael Myers is a myth. He’s the Boogeyman. A ghost story to scare kids. But this Boogeyman is real. An evil like his never stops, it just grows older. Darker. More determined.” – Laurie Strode (Halloween)
“You’re just meat. Without a soul, without a brain, without anything. Animal. You, you have no spirit- everlasting! No, no radiant light! I possess elucidations you will never know!” -Jeremiah (Mandy)
“I’m just floating in this ocean of nothing and I wonder if this is it, if this is what death is, just out there in the darkness, just darkness and numbness and alone, and I wondered if that’s what she felt…” -Theo (The Haunting of Hill House Episode 8)
“Some people claim that the atrocities we commit in our fiction are those inner desires which we cannot commit in our controlled civilization, so they’re expressed instead through our art. I don’t agree. I believe Heaven and Hell are one and the same. The soul belongs to Heaven and the body to Hell.” – Jack (The House That Jack Built)
People, they wear masks their whole lives. Pretending that life has meaning. When you kill somebody all of that is gone. Halloween is the closest people come to admitting that we are defined by death. – Wilkes (Into the Dark Anthology Series: The Body Episode 1)
If you haven’t checked out these albums, songs or movies, hope this post encourages you to check them out! Once again as I said in the beginning of this post, 2018 was dope year for hip hop and horror!!! To 2019, that it may bring us more horror, lyrical rhymes and beautiful melodies!
I am excited to begin this new journey! I decided to begin this blog titled: “Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue” that will be ran by yours truly. I wanted to use my extra time in a productive way and what better way than to write about two things I have love for hip hop and horror culture.
I wanted my first post to be about what you can expect from this blog and why I am combining these two cultures. For those who know me I am a lyricist and poet. I have been writing lyrics and poetry since I was 13 years old. Music has always been my therapy and my creative outlet to vent out my emotions, frustrations, dreams and nightmares.
I fell in love with music and movies as a 5 year old kid. My first encounter with films is when my grandma would have me join her in watching black and white films that were made during La Epoca de Oro. The films featured Mexican actors: Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and Maria Felix just to name a few. Mexican cinema was also full of horror gems. Even though some were cheesy they will always be a fond childhood memory and the reason I grew to love the horror genre. From watching films like Capulina contra los Vampiros, Vacaciones de Terror, Panico en la Montaña, Hermelinda Linda the list goes on.
Getting to watch horror movies with my grandma was not only a form of entertainment, but it built a deeper bond between us. She would also enjoy telling my sisters and I stories about Mexican lore or legends from ‘La Mano Negra’ to ”El Chamuco”. These stories sparked my imagination and gave me another reason to become obsessed with horror culture and urban/folk legends.
My exposure to the horror genre through Mexican cinema only made my addiction grow. Then, I moved onto American horror films. I remember being obsessed with Child’s Play one of the first American horror films I watched as a kid. As well as Fright Night, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t begin to appreciate Freddy Krueger’s witty humor and Wes Craven’s brilliant take on dreams and nightmares until I got a bit older. Now it is listed in my top 10 favorite horror films. Eventually, as my fascination grew it led me to foreign horror films.
Yes, there are horror films that are just made for fun and entertainment. But like rap, horror has sub genres that may not be for everyone’s taste. This blog will provide my opinion and insight. It is purely subjective and I am open to having an open platform to hear other opinions or feedback on the topics I write about.
This blog will allow me to share my love for horror films and its culture. There is more to horror than blood and scares. As I’ve gotten older I began noticing horror movies touch on the following topics: our society, to teach us lessons, speak about our fears and also reflect on our past, present and future. To me horror films have a deeper meaning. One may argue that some horror films exploit women, but it is true to what happens in the real world. I also see the duality to that statement since the horror genre gave birth to the ‘Final Girls’. These women were female characters who took on the lead role in a horror movie (specifically in the slasher sub genre) that by the end of the movie they became heroes/survivors/fighters and not just victims.
As for my love for hip hop, where do I even start? Well, it all started when I began watching films with Pedro Fernandez who was a child actor and singer. I wanted to be like him, I started making up my own songs. That would be the precursor to me becoming a songwriter. Then, I began memorizing songs. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that one day I got into an argument with my twin sister and I got this urge to write down what I was feeling. Without even knowing I had written my first rap. It was not my best work, but I realized I had a gift that needed to be shared. With time I worked on my craft and have evolved into the lyricist I am today.
Let’s take it back to the first time I heard rap music. I was 7 yrs old listening to Tupac and Biggie. As a kid growing up in the 90s, rap music was the soundtrack to my life. It was only right that years later I would end up writing lyrics. I fell in love with the hip hop culture through rap. The day I began writing lyrics I knew I had a talent with words. I knew I could use this skill to spread positive messages that people could relate to, tell stories and like horror-core rappers write lyrics that were heavily influenced by horror movies. Being able to put words together that fit perfectly and rhymed was a great feeling!
Hip Hop gave me self esteem. Rappers and lyricists became like my therapists. There are rap songs that got me through tough times, others gave me the motivation I needed to to keep going when I had no inspiration. Not only did hip hop boost up my confidence, but it became a part of my daily life. My style of dress was influenced by the culture such as becoming a sneakerhead and buying graphic tees. I would and still listen to rap music on the daily to get motivation or inspiration when writing my own lyrics.
I also became obsessed with rap lyrics how they painted a picture. I even became fixated on memorizing lyrics. When I would buy rap albums I would look at the booklets and check if the rappers wrote their own lyrics and ponder on how or why they wrote those lyrics. Now we got Genius and Youtube to see the meaning behind the lyrics or what inspired them to write these songs. As human beings we interpret every song different to apply to our own lives and give it our own meaning. I also loved how the lyrics spread knowledge about things they did not teach us in school. Rap music taught me to question everything and come up with my own answers. I mainly loved the inspirational messages and the beauty of hearing rappers rhyme complex words to tell a story. Simply put hip hop was my best friend that was always there for me! As the great KRS-One said, “Rap is not something you do, Hip Hop is something you live!”
These two genres: horror and hip hop were and have been my way to cope and at times a way to escape my reality. As well, as an outlet to release my emotions, dreams and fears.
While writing this I had an epiphany of how these two genres have more in common than they are different. Yes, Hip Hop is a culture that is made up of 5 elements: Emceeing, Deejaying, B-Boying, Graffiti and spreading knowledge or having fun. But it used to be a culture that was and sadly still is harshly criticized for its controversial messages about society, politics, drugs, objectifying women, and violence. Likewise, with horror, it is criticized for bringing to light the fears and negative aspects of our society, exploiting women, the gore and violence. I feel these two genres have always been given a negative reputation and I am here to change that perception. To me they allowed me to feel brave and continue to have a positive impact in my life.
It’s crazy how times have changed! They used to say rap was just a phase and it wouldn’t last. It is now the #1 music genre in the United States. Horror has also become an embraced genre throughout the years, with loyal fans including myself. As the great horror legend Wes Craven, may he rest in peace, once said, “Some people ask why people would go into a dark room to be scared. I say they are already scared, and they need to have that fear manipulated and massaged. I think of horror movies as the disturbed dreams of a society.”
As a lyricist and a horror fan on this blog I will share my lyrics that are highly influenced by horror movies and rap legends. I will touch on different topics involving both genres from reviewing rap and R&B albums to reviewing horror films/tv shows. Keep up with the latest horror and hip hop news. That is just a glimpse of what is to come. I will be learning along the way and that is what makes this journey even more unpredictable!
I want to bring this post to an end by discussing the meaning behind my blogs name. I have named this blog “Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue” to properly shout out one of my favorite horror films ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ that fed my obsession about dreams and nightmares. Sedgwick Avenue is the street where the first hip hop parties took place. It became known as Hip Hop’s birthplace. This blog is under my company “7 Octoberz” that has a sacred meaning to me. It is not only my favorite number and favorite month, but it’s the day my grandma Rafaela Ojeda passed away. This is a website that will allow her memory and legacy to continue. She played a huge role in why I love horror movies and music. She believed in my dreams. When I told her I wanted to sing and play guitar she bought me a guitar. That was the type of person she was. She empowered my creativity and for that I am grateful. Now my dream of writing about horror and hip hop will come to fruition through this blog. I hope you all join me on this journey and enjoy what I have to share!