Halloween is almost here, so we rounded up some local hip-hop joints that have thrilling vibes, titles, and lyrics for this spooky time of year.
The list features staple Twin Cities acts and newcomers. Play ’em as you prep your costume, carve your pumpkin, or however you celebrate Halloween.
This first track comes from Minneapolis-based alternative hip-hop artist Izell Pyramid. “Soul Now” is almost six minutes of Izell showing nothing but range, from emotional expression to unique vocal techniques.
Through the chorus he belts, “Just save my soul now, just let it be,” which could apply to unkind spirits or toxic people. He sings the chorus in an almost shaky falsetto, which eventually transforms into auto-tune. “Soul Now” appears on Pyramid, a frequent Bobby Raps collaborator’s project Priestcraft, which was released late last month.
Speaking of Bobby Raps, this next track comes from the producing, rapping and singing St. Paul native’s summer release of Mark. “Midnight Hour” is another long track packed with personal pain.
Throughout the album it becomes clear that Bobby is coping with loss, and Bobby lets listeners know that right away in the intro by rapping a dire warning, “Everything you want, this big world is gonna take it from you/ So I just hope you know what you want.”
In “Nightmare,” Minneapolis-based poet, producer and rapper Malik Augustus raps about not becoming his worst nightmare or selling his soul to the music industry. Over the groovy-yet-spooky, jBiRD-produced beat, Malik raps, “Just let your subconscious take you where you really wanna go.” He goes on to describe how he plans to keep proceeding independently in his artistry and in his world travels.
Since purchasing a USB microphone as a senior in high school, Malik has released a mixtape each year. His latest tape, Poemstar, also includes another fitting track for the upcoming holiday called “Spiders,” and a listen back to “Trip” off Lucidity will provide one more psychedelic jBiRD beat to jam to this Halloween.
Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. has a song called “Gravedigger” off his latest project, Chill, dummy, that spreads a meaningful message. In it he vows not to spend his day-to-day life fixating on a job he doesn’t care about or with people who don’t care about him. His first verse is guided by a calmer, sing-rap style, and he shows versatility as he switches up his flow in a harsher sounding third verse. Chicago emcee Angelenah adds a fiery guest verse as well.
P.O.S. brings the same versatility to the new Doomtree-bred rap group he is part of called SHREDDERS, who will be opening up for Run The Jewels at our Snow Show next month.
This last track come from St. Paul rapper Khari, a recent Shut Up and Rap contestant. “Social Suicide” provides some darkness for this time of year, but also some sheer realness and vulnerability that can be hard to come by.
Khari raps about grinding hard when it comes to her craft and crushing her inner demons as she spits, “R.I.P. to the old me.” At the heart of the song is another rhetorical question. She asks, “You ain’t hearing from me, will you miss me when I’m gone?” By the end, we see a glimmer of hope as Khari reassures listeners she doesn’t plan to give up – she’s got angels watching over her.
Happy Halloween, everyone.