Gas Up the Chainsaw: Ganxsta NIP Is Back
When picturing Houston hip-hop, most fans are apt to conjure images of hedonistic success: candy paint, gold grills and a cup full of purple stuff. And why not? The good times roll on a set of wire-spoke rims down here. But from its very earliest days, the city's sound of the streets has contained its fair share of darker themes as well: Drugs. Misogyny. Murder. In the '80s and early '90s, especially, it wasn't all good in the 'hood.
Photo by Jody Perry Ganxsta NIP at Numbers, 2012
Nowadays, most local MCs are content to rap around the edges of this heart of hip-hop darkness, careful not to stare into it too deeply. But in that same darkness there still dwells a man known as Ganxsta NIP.
His 1992 Rap-A-Lot debut, The South Park Psycho, pushed past the violent and gritty lyricism of MCs like Ice-T into a whole new territory of fucked up. Rhymes about chainsaws, cannibalism, dismemberment and necrophilia cast Ganxsta NIP as the villain in an auditory slasher movie. This wasn't hardcore rap; this was horrorcore. And like any good horror-movie villain, Ganxsta NIP always returns for another taste of blood.
After more than two decades in the hip-hop underground, Ganxsta NIP is back with a new album, proclaiming himself the God of Horrorcore Rap. Drenched in anxiety-inducing production work, NIP's thoughtfully gruesome lyrics on the new record are punctuated by the cackling laughter of a gleeful psychopath.
Distributed through his own label, Psych Ward Entertainment, there's a certain sinister, homemade quality to the record, like strange footage found on an unmarked VHS tape left behind in a creepy-ass cabin in the woods.
What possesses a rapper to write love songs to a knife, with couplets like "Cut that nigga's ass up, homie, limb to limb/ His family members came running, so I stuck it in them?"
"God just gave me the talent to do it," NIP says simply.
On the phone, he's soft-spoken and humble but seems tense, like someone who's constantly on the verge of cracking up into something you can't begin to handle.
"It's easy for me to write a horrorcore song, when it's harder for me to write something that's for the radio or something just positive," he adds. "It's harder. But I can write a horrorcore song in 10-15 minutes and be done. That's what made me the god of horrorcore, because God gave me the talent to do it."
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