Last week, I waxed poetic about the beloved era in which every big-budget summer movie had an accompanying rap song to help promote the pic to the masses.
Thus, we were gifted with the lyrical genius of Tom Hanks, the Vanilla Ice opus “Ninja Rap” and MC Hammer attempting to jam out with Lurch.
However, abusing the legacy of Cool Herc wasn’t just limited to big budget movies. Once rap music found a place in pop culture as a successful marketing tool, there was no stopping the steady flow of shitty rap songs.
The best (worst?) seemed to derive from genre pics, specifically horror films. Watching beloved horror icons attempt to conquer complicated rhythms with lyrics about murder and mayhem was offensive to hardcore horror hounds and fans of music genre. A little something for everyone.
Here are few of the best cringe-worthy attempts at creating a hit horror single by making icons of fright a bit more urban…
With his burned red skin, razor-blade manicure and his habit of slinging puns just before a particularly gruesome kill, Freddy from the Nightmare pics quickly became a horror icon. Unlike the silent,cold-blooded teen killers of the past, Freddy was a personality to be reckoned with. His unique backstory and personal vendetta made him dangerous, but his love for puns and his artistry in truly-inspired and creative kills made him charming. But his skills behind the mic changed all that.
Teaming with the Fat Boys in 1988 for Dream Master, Freddy began to evolve from the terrifying figure of teen nightmares to a parody of his former self, chasing after heavy-set MCs dulled his edge. He was no longer the powerful foe that battled Nancy during naptime, but a comedy figure whose prose began to inspire for terror than his metal appendages.
Poor Fred’s floundering street cred wasn’t helped with the release of “Nightmare On My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. While not an official track from the movie, the song continued the make a mockery of the Elm Street boogieman.
“Maniac Rap” from Maniac Cop 2
Say what you will about “Maniac Rap,” the song is a basic outline on how to create a the perfect cheesy rap anthem to accompany your low-budget slasher pic. Artists Yeshwua Barnes and Brian “B.Dub” Woods manage to hit every important mark:
- Clips from the movie in the video
- Recounting plot points in the lyrics
- Bizarre shout outs to the characters that are borderline insulting
“Tales from the Hood” from Tales from the Hood (1995)
Unlike other films on this list, a rap song for this urban version of Tales from the Crypt makes a lot of sense. Considering that the film is a mock blaxploitation version of the classic horror anthology, it makes sense that the soundtrack reflect the theme of the film.
However, this R&B slow jam by Domino does not fit the gory and frightful images depicted in the video. Here was a perfectly good chance to use a hard hitting rap song, and what we are given is a sexed-up Boyz II Men knock-off offers a confusing mix of slow jam and exploding heads.
“Scream” from Scream 2 (1999)
The low-energy hip-hop tune from Master P featured a stage littered by Ghostface decor and little else to do with the movie.
Generic lyrics and random dancers in Halloween masks marked the single as a last-minute thought with minimal effort from all parties involved. Yawn.
“Lep in the Hood” from Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood (2003)
The Leprechaun franchise was already a slightly awful series, with the only stand-out from the original film being that it starred a pre-Friend Jennifer Aniston. By the sequel, there were already too many films. Thus, when the awful “Leprechaun in the Hood” offered its own follow-up, most horror fans were already expecting a perfect awful experience only to be enjoy by those who were heavily inebriated.
Imagine the surprise of the tens of folks who actually saw this mess were treated to this gem, featuring Warwick Davis on vocals.
Special Mention: “Crypt Jam” from Tales from the Crypt
While not a single from any movie soundtrack, “Crypt Jam” earns a special place on this list for being so goddamn horrible.
When it comes to terrible puns and awful rhyming skills, the Crypt Keeper has Freddy beat by a mile.