The grim scene of mourners in black and a single antique hearse depict the unthinkable on an early morning in Sacramento. Kevin Mann, known to the world as Brotha Lynch Hung, lies inside a casket. His motionless body, now a hollow relic of a man who once terrified the world with his artistic vision. While it is unknown how he came to pass, one can only imagine that he may have succumbed to the paranoia and insanity that plagued his music throughout the years. A single line of cars follow the hearse on its way to Lynch’s final resting place. His passing stands as a reminder to those close to him, that even a madman is vulnerable to life’s uncertainties. Meanwhile, halfway across the country, the Strange Music offices in Kansas City try to assess the situation and deal with the fallout from the giant loss they have suffered. Slowly, the reality begins to seep in. This is not a dream. This is a world without Brotha Lynch Hung.
Lynch’s body of work pieces together the story of a dangerous loner on the brink of complete madness. His albums became increasingly sadistic from one to the next. The mystique that Lynch managed to create was unlike any that anyone had ever seen before. Through his diabolical lyrics and extreme imagery, he personified a true cold blooded killer. By keeping a wall between himself and the world, Lynch blurred the lines of reality and brought into question whether it was all a gimmick, or in fact the real deal. Following his untimely death, would family and friends find a dungeon full of bodies in his home? Would there be a graveyard of human remains in his backyard? Probably not, although, it’s fun to think that Lynch was always running around Sacramento collecting victims for inspiration. The truth is, Lynch was just a creative soul with a taste for the dark side. His upbringing as an only child and lack of many friends growing up probably encouraged Lynch to find an outlet in music as a means to express his emotions. At first glance, Lynch’s music may have seemed one dimensional. Really, how much could a cannibalistic serial killer have to talk about? The beauty behind Lynch’s personality, though, was his complex nature that supplemented his material. On any given Lynch album, the listener is taken through the mind of a killer, a rapist, a pathological liar, and complete sociopath. Like a diseased thespian of sorts, Lynch would step into a role and engulf the listener in a world of absolute delirium.
In his absence from this world, Lynch leaves behind an unfinished masterpiece. His grand finale, the greatest triumph of his career is abandoned without its third and final act. The Coathanga Strangla’s trilogy that began with Dinner And A Movie will not see its conclusion in Mannibalector. When Lynch first announced his plans to release a cinematically inspired trilogy of albums, fans were ecstatic. Lynch’s high expectations meant that fans could now witness a resurrection of his career, which had spent so many years in obscurity. Teaming with the excellent resources of Strange Music, Lynch received all of the necessary tools to build his vision. On Dinner And A Movie, Lynch introduce the world to the Coathanga Strangla. An average man in dire straits who turns into a monstrous terror every night. His unquenchable thirst for blood leaves a mass of rappers’ bodies behind. The first signs of paranoia begin to make an appearance on Dinner And A Movie. Although he is two steps ahead of investigators, the killer still has his own paranoid thoughts to face when he is left alone. Like many expected, Lynch took things in a different and more exciting direction on Coathanga Strangla. His obsession with reinvention proved to be his best asset. On Coathanga Strangla, Lynch dropped the tight restrictions set by the story, and instead opted to show off his lyrical prowess. While still keeping the overall storyline, Lynch managed to crank up the paranoia and fear for both himself and the listener. The killer became unhinged and began to show signs of vulnerability, a human quality. By the end of the record, the Coathanga Strangla was reaching out to others for help. Mannibalector would serve as his last dance before going down in a bloody last stand. Sadly enough, the real Coathanga Strangla did not live long enough to see Mannibalector.
Beyond his own albums, Lynch’s passing has created waves through the music industry. As one of the pioneers behind the horror-rap genre, Lynch was solely responsible for attempting to take it to new places. His ever-changing flow and original take on Horrorcore was something to be admired and even replicated. Now though it’s as if the progression of the genre has been stopped dead in its tracks. A return to bland and unimaginative hip hop can practically be sensed already. The void left by Lynch was not something many expected, but it certainly has become something to worry about. On the Strange front, Lynch was one of the best selling artists on the label. Strange Music must find a way to fill Lynch’s spot with an act that create as much publicity and revenue as he once did. A re-imagining of the Nnutthowze with Lynch as a new member will also never be heard. There was so much left undone, that fans are only beginning to feel the impact. Prior to all of this, Lynch had enthusiastically stated that he still had ten to fifteen more years of music left in him. How much is the world missing out on? Could we have seen the Coathanga Strangla survive, only to return for another trilogy?
The wheels of the hearse come to a complete stop around the bend of an open burial plot. A cold dead sound echoes from the front to the back, as all of the car doors open simultaneously. Six men bear the daunting task of carrying Lynch’s casket to its grave. As the men grasp the handles and lift, an usual thought crosses their minds. The casket has little to no weight. The Coathanga Strangla had one last joke for us all. You see, in a world where Brotha Lynch Hung is still busy murdering MCs, we will never have to know what it’s like to be without him.
-Victor Sandoval, Asst. Editor Strange Music Blogs
Follow Victor Sandoval on Twitter: @VicMSandoval