As a sub-genre often deemed as cartoonish and overlooked because artists use elements of shock rock in their imagery, horrorcore has never reached a huge following by the mainstream until Eminem exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his first three albums (The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show) and D12’s sophomore album, D12 World. However, despite that brief explosion for the genre, it never managed to stay in people’s ear for a long time. It was not until the first few works by members of Odd Future and the new emerging dark trap wave, that horrorcore has received some form of shine once again. Nevertheless, the genre has managed to stay alive in the underground thanks to artists like Insane Clown Posse and Brotha Lynch Hung. While horrorcore has mainly stayed alive in the United States, artists in Puerto Rico have explored the genre a bit. One of the first examples of horrorcore in Puerto Rican hip hop can be credited to Vico C’s “Viernes 13” song series, which featured a story deeply embedded in the Friday the 13th film franchise. However, these tunes can never be compared with the horrifying and gory imagery presented in the early American horrorcore of the Geto Boys and Gravediggaz, whose sound helped create how we know the genre today. Vico C’s “Viernes 13” series took a more comedic approach in the style DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “A Nightmare on My Street” and the Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready for Freddy” and it is this approach, mixed with a bit of the gory visuals from artists like the Insane Clown Posse, that can be found in Meca Uno’s latest entry in his “Rap or Trick” EP series.
Kicking off Meca Uno’s latest “Rap or Trick” project is “Corre Gritan,” a story-driven lyrical display that shows his Vico C, Cypress Hill and Insane Clown Posse influences. He then pays a bit of a homage to Vico C’s classic “Viernes 13” with “El Cuco,” a tune that samples the Friday the 13th franchise as he provides a story of his own. Afterwards, he provides “Joe’s Myersiano,” a 1980s boom bap influenced song, a vibe which he continues with the following track “El Fantasma en Patineta.” Subsequently, Meca Uno delivers another story-driven tune with “GhostFace Máscara,” a lyrical song that shows the artist’s love for the Scream film franchise. Finally, the project ends with “Con Las Dr Martens,” a boom bap tune influenced by the sound of 1980s golden age hip hop.
Meca Uno’s “Rap or Trick Vol. 4” is a short, but to-the-point homage to horrorcore serving as a perfect soundtrack for the Halloween and Fall vibes. While horrorcore and horror-influenced hip hop might not receive love from the mainstream, this EP and many other projects continue to show the sub-genre is still alive.
All of the pictures in this article were found in Meca Uno’s Facebook page
Listen to “Rap or Trick Vol. 4” on Spotify
As Puerto Rico’s indie music scene grows, rock bands continue to show their love for the indie and alternative genres. One of the slowly growing groups to do so is Pulpo and with their debut EP, “Acertijo Universal,” they wear their influences on their sleeves while showing their mainstream appeal.
Pulpo’s “Acertijo Universal” is a project connected by one sound and a few themes. Starting the EP is the title track, which shows the group’s alternative and indie rock influences, especially bands like the Foo Fighters. Afterwards, “Bañera Llena,” shows the ensemble’s dance rock influence as they continue to explore subjects like love and time. Then the group relaxes with “La Espera Desespera,” an indie rock inspired tune that once again explores the aforementioned themes. Finally, the project ends with “Super-Casi-Héroe,” a heavier song that maintains the band’s indie rock energy while creating some atmosphere.
To sum up, Pulpo’s debut EP is a good project that shows the collective’s many influences and the themes they like to explore while displaying their mainstream appeal. Hopefully, they will continue to show growth in future presentations that will open more doors to them.
All of the pictures in this article were found in Pulpo’s Facebook page
Listen to Pulpo’s “Acertijo Universal” on Spotify
In Puerto Rico’s independent music scene, the genres related to rock have taken a back seat to more danceable sounds like trap, dancehall and synth pop. However, that has not stopped musicians from exploring sounds like punk and metal. Bands like Zafakon, Dan Siego and Cologne are just some of the few that experiment with rock related genres in order to bring their own voice and spark something new. Recently, stoner/progressive metal band MOTHS has been one of the most active across the island releasing their debut self-titled EP.
Kicking off their EP is “Lepidoptera,” a great blend of stoner and prog metal that serves as a fantastic introduction to the project which also features some elements of math rock and power metal. Then they deliver “Adhara & Ray,” a stoner metal tune with elements of psychedelia with some interesting switches that create a dark and surreal atmosphere. Afterwards, MOTHS provide “Desires,” a blend of stoner and prog metal which shows influence from noise music, math rock and even a little blues. Finally, the band pays homage to one of their biggest influences, King Crimson, by making their own cover of the band’s “21st Century Schizoid Man,” which shows love to the classic prog rock group while displaying their own voice.
Overall, MOTHS’ self-titled debut EP is a fantastic display of the band’s stoner and progressive metal sound while showing some of the other genres that influence them, even going as far as paying tribute to one of their favorite groups in King Crimson. Hopefully, when they deliver a full-length project the band will continue to expand on their sound thereby evolving as a collective.
Listen to the EP in MOTHS’ Bandcamp
The pictures in this article can be found in MOTHS’ Bandcamp
Puerto Rico’s independent music scene continues to grow daily and the month of October 2018 saw the release of various EPs, albums and singles by artists of a variety of genres. Thus, the following article continues to document the singles found on a monthly basis.
“?od syek kcalb eht od tahw” by Clammy & the Hands
Serving as a short compilation of outtakes and sketches from their EP released earlier this year, “what do the black keys do?,” this short project is a bit of a look into the creative process behind the creation of the aforementioned work.
“Cintura Con Chapa” by Jib Da’ Mist
An extremely danceable afrobeat influenced tune, the latest single by Jib Da’ Mist will surely have listeners moving their bodies in each and every way possible as he continues to show his mainstream potential.
“Blue Garden / Kids are Astronauts / Drones” by Un.Real
The latest release by the original Puerto Rican shoegaze band sees the group continuing to explore the genre they are most known for while blending elements of dream pop and ambient music providing a relaxing yet moving experience.
“Pensando En Ti” by Kombo the X Writer
Featuring great production by Huztle and Gaby Morales, Kombo the X Writer’s “Pensando En Ti” presents the rapper reflecting on how relationships are affected by one’s ambitions to the sound of an R&B influenced beat and a fantastic acoustic guitar.
“Petty Wap (Spanish Version)” by Snow La Nieve
The latest single by Snow La Nieve, A.K.A. El Biggie Boricua, sees the rapper take on the beat for Young M.A’s “Petty Wap” to flex about his lyrical abilities, the women in his life and other aspects of his life.
“Struggles in Vice City” by Young Crowley
Produced by chriskentt, the first single by the SADGVNG member is a blend of boom bap and psychedelic sampling that plays as an interesting introduction to the young artist and a creative entry into the emo rap sub-genre that is slowly developing in Puerto Rico.
“Baby Doll” and “Mi Glock” by OMVR X JC
Being some of the most active trap artists in the underground scene, it is natural for OMVR X JC to release more singles this month. Thus with “Baby Doll” the duo deliver a sex-fueled tune that features some of their trademark blend of aggressive and melodic vocals. Subsequently, with “Mi Glock” the duo boast about their work towards success and what they are willing to do to anybody who tries to stop them on a hypnotic beat produced by Yung Boi.
“Comandando” by Eleperez Feat. Ura De Jezus x Croneylardo
Accompanied by a fantastic bass-driven production by Manny Dreads, the latest collaboration by Eleperez, Ura de Jezus and Croneylardo is a tune that goes against all forms of haters as the three artists put themselves on the top of the underground rap game.
“Déjate Llevar” by Lila Espiral
A groovy blend of funk, rock n roll and electronic music, Lila Espiral’s “Déjate Llevar” is an interesting piece that will have listeners thinking of the future and/or outer space as she helps one escape reality for a while.
“Millions” and “RICO!” by 6ELA
Another of the very active trap artists on the scene right now, 6ELA delivered a few singles this month. The first of these is a highly danceable bass-driven trap tune in the form of “Millions,” a track which will definitely have listeners moving their bodies in one way or another be it through simple dancing, head banging and, perhaps, creating mosh pits. Meanwhile, “RICO!” is another bass-heavy tune that, like “Millions,” might have listeners head banging and probably moshing as 6ELA sings about his money and ambitions to get more.
“PROTECT YO’ NECK” by Blxxdshot
Featuring surrealistic heavy bass-driven production, the latest Blxxdshot single is a dark trap track perfect for Halloween and horror movie vibes as it sonically provides disturbing Lynchian imagery.
“JUST VIBES” by Ralfy J
A smooth and ethereal R&B, Ralfy J’s “JUST VIBES” will play perfectly in any form of late night playlists as it can help create a wide variety of images, especially those involving sex and nudity.
“AGUA” and “Walgreens” by Gaby Chuleta
Produced by Tek Banks, the first of Gaby Chuleta’s latest singles is a bass heavy trap track that will surely have people head banging, dancing and possibly creating mosh pits as the young musician touches on a variety of topics such as money, drug use and ambitions. Meanwhile, “Walgreens” is a banger which celebrates drug culture while touching on the subject of trust.
“SANTINI” by Enyel C ft. Gaby Chuleta
A relaxed trap tune influenced by sadboi rap and lo-fi aesthetics, the latest collaboration by Enyel C and Gaby Chuleta plays out like a scene from an indie coming of age film where the main characters, in this case the young musicians, drive off to a party.
“EA$Y BLE$$ED BAR$” by Khalid Estrada
Featuring a nice trap influenced beat, the latest Khalid Estrada single plays out like a lyrical freestyle where the musician looks to display his abilities while rapping about a variety of topics such as his ambitions, love for hip hop and greatness.
“No More” by Anibal Velez
Featuring some ethereal R&B production, Anibal Velez’s latest tune touches on the subject of love and heartbreak as the young rapper uses elements of storytelling to express himself regarding a loving relationship.
“De Hoy Pa Hoy” and “Aquí Estaré” by Reyes †††
After releasing his debut album, Tazas de Amargura, a few months ago Rio Grande rapper Reyes ††† recently released the psychedelic lo-fi boom bap track “De Hoy Pa Hoy” to display his lyrical abilities and provide a glimpse into the latest aspects of his life. Meanwhile, with “Aquí Estaré,” the young rapper takes on a more acoustic guitar driven sound as he reflects on recent life experiences and personal problems.
“Ya No Quiere” by Piotripz ft. Flow Montana
An R&B influenced trap tune, the latest Piotripz and Flow Montana single is one that will surely play well in late night playlists of any form as one can easily visualize parties, strip clubs or sex scenes playing out in slow motion to the track’s vibe.
“See Ya” by Stz ft. Joshua Torres
Featuring fantastic production by FlyTwilightZone, the latest collaboration by Stz and Joshua Torres is a great track that sees the rappers reflection about their ambitions, their abilities to achieve them and how they try to stay true to themselves in the process.
“Angelica” by Mr. Kraken
Though he has relocated to the United Kingdom, young musician Mr. Kraken still manages to deliver solid work this time in the form of the lo-fi ballad “Angelica,” a blues influenced track that will definitely have listeners engaged with its imaginative storytelling and love-driven tale.
“RIP” by Stz x 13am
An highly energetic trap track, the latest collaboration by Stz and 13am is a tune that continues to display the young artists’ mainstream potential if given the proper opportunity.
“Daño Colateral” by Espuelérico
A short but to the point blues influenced folk tune, the latest single by young musician Espuelérico is a reflective work that takes a look at some of the many problems which currently surround Puerto Rico.
“Tata La Batata” by Zurda
A boom bap driven tune, the latest single by Zurda takes elements from classic hip hop to deliver a story-driven and heavily visual track that reflects on a variety of social issues.
“No Me Gusta Hablar” by Cyborg AOS X Eleperez
Featuring production by Magic On The Beat, the latest collaboration by Cyborg AOS and Eleperez is a fantastic display of the artists’ lyrical abilities as they deliver a variety of quotables in a tune about being forced to speak on haters and shutting them down with music.
“Foreplay” by Cologne
The first “official” single, according to the band, “Foreplay” is a sex-driven love song by the indie rock group from the west of Puerto Rico that continues to display a bit of their psychedelic and prog rock influences.
“Pharaoh” by Wolves
Released on Halloween, the latest single by Wolves features some dark, hypnotic and atmospheric production as the young musician raps about a variety of topics such as his greatness, ambitions and more.
“Noche Entera” by Homies Clan
A take on a more dancehall and afrobeat driven sound, Homies Clan’s latest single, “Noche Entera”, is one that should have listeners dancing and moving their feet to its upbeat vibe.
“Como Si Na' (Official Remix)” BY A1 NWG feat. Ya Boy Majik, Da' Ghost and All Dirty Nights
Featuring production by Aaron P, the remix to A1 NWG’s track from “The Sauz” is a great group collaboration that features all of the artists singing and rapping over a relaxing, but hypnotic vibe as they display their abilities touching on a variety of subjects such as criticism, ambition and love interests.
“Tony Montana” by Young Faby feat. eMe
Inspired by the character Tony Montana and the way he achieved his goals, Young Faby and eMe deliver a banging trap beat where they compare themselves and their ambitions to the Scarface character.
“Mariah” by Avila feat. Arov
A short yet highly danceable tune featuring some psychedelic and ethereal vibes alongside a great bass line, the latest collaboration between Avil and Arov will surely make listeners move their feet.
“Vámonos” by Kampo
Featuring lo-fi aesthetics, the latest single by Kampo is an interesting switch of pace that sees him heavily sampling acoustics and some different percussion instrumentation providing another beat so listeners can relax.
“In My Subconscious” by Redneck Buddha
Putting in display their garage rock, power pop and dance rock influences out there, the latest Redneck Buddha single provides a great balance between storytelling and some danceable energy.
“El Esqueleto” by Z X Siempre
After releasing “Ley Thelémica” in late December 2017, Z X Siempre come back with a new experimental and darkly atmospheric single that provides some of their surreal and psychedelic vibes alongside a video that serves as a perfect companion piece.
“Vivieron Feliz” by PJ Sin Suela
Released last week, the latest PJ Sin Suela solo single features some fantastic production as he raps and sings a story driven tune where he touches on subjects such as heartbreak, dealing with pain and death.
“Calle C” by Tek-One
Featuring production by Yallzee, the latest single by Tek-One is a ten minute diss track towards Residente as the Puerto Rican underground legend puts his lyrical prowess in display while trying to humiliate the musician’s abilities.
As mentioned in previous articles, Puerto Rico’s music scene is constantly growing and developing a space for artists of all ages to express themselves. While trap continues to be the most explored sound, other genres still manage to get some love and experimentation.
Fernando E. E. Correa González is the author behind over 20 self-published poetry books. He has been published by literary magazines & journals [Id]entidad, El Vicio del Tintero, Sábanas Magazine, Smaeralit, The Occulum and Tonguas. Other than writing, Correa is also a filmmaker, photographer and master’s student. He currently lives in his native Puerto Rico.