“As hip-hop developed in the 80s and 90s, the genre became synonymous with violence, drugs, and sex. But even as rappers sought to prove their realness, it has always been understood – by the artists that make it and the fans that love it, at least – that hip-hop is a reflection and a comment on society’s ills, not the cause of them.
For many proponents of hardcore hip-hop and gangsta rap, these street-life narratives were a mix of reporting, fiction-writing, and therapy that charged American institutions like the government, police and schools with the responsibility for urban decay.
Hip-hop has always been hyperbole. But what happens when the hyperbole is pushed to extremes? What happens when lyrics about gangland murder becomes slasher flick serial killing, when chasing women becomes acts of violence, when getting high and drunk at a party becomes addiction, paranoia and psychosis?
You get horrorcore, an often maligned sub-genre that has existed for nearly as long as hip-hop itself and that specializes in the macabre, the sinister, the disgusting and the shocking. Here are 15 of the best, most important horrorcore albums, sorted chronologically to show how the genre has developed over more than a quarter century.”