As many of you have listened to Mannibalector you have undoubtedly been shocked by the album’s stunning finale, leaving you with your jaw on the floor and your hands up in disbelief.
In the spirit of Lynch’s diabolical storytelling, we decided to go back and look at some hip hop tracks that inspire the same reaction.
Warning: Many Spoilers Ahead
Definitely one of the most bittersweet and humorous songs on the list of hip hop storytelling tracks, “Worst Enemy” has Tech N9ne addressing a subject that he does quite often: his dick. However with lines like “You was supposed to be my dawg. Homie, when I first met you what was told to me was fraud” and “You got a mind, explain of your own now. You’re grown now. Can I ask you a question? Did you forget we kinfolks, nigga? We the same complexion!” you get the impression that he’s talking to one of his closest homies (and in a way…he is).
It isn’t until the very last and vulgar word that you find out just what Tech is talking about, bringing everything you heard before that into an entirely different light.
One of the most harrowing hip hop songs you’re likely to ever hear, Immortal Technique’s “Dance With The Devil” combines realism and mysticism to paint a foreboding picture of what happens when you play with fire.
Immortal Technique tells the story of Billy, who wants nothing more to be a respected G on the streets with all the benefits that come with it: props, respect and money. In order to do that, he joins a crew who’s admittance is one condition: you have to commit rape.
After the crew takes turns raping and abusing an innocent woman, Billy is faced with another decision. One of the crew members hands him a gun and tells him he has to kill her. He puts the gun to her head and comes to a shattering realization, the woman is his mother. He responds with panic and takes his own life. Immortal closes the tale with the profound lines “So when the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never, because the dance with the devil might last you forever.”
In a nod towards Organized Konfusion’s “Stray Bullets”, Nas personifies an item that unfortunately plagues the streets of ghettos all across America: a gun. The story is told in lurid detail, filled with emotional and physical detail that make Nas nearly-unparalleled in terms of storytelling ability. “I seen niggas bleeding, running from me in fear, stunningly tears fall from the eyes of these so-called tough guys.” The twist comes with a nasty bit of foreshadowing at the end of Nas’ second verse: “I had some other plans like the next time the beef is on I make myself jam right in my owner’s hand.”
By the third verse Nas as the gun is faced with a decision, to fire or to jam? He’s pointed at his owner’s adversary, ready to fire, but holds on despite the fact that he knows that there are enemies waiting in hell for his owner.
At the end of the song, his owner is killed due to the pistol’s inability to blast. The gun is dropped and picked up by a passerby, forced to live out the same pointless cycle.
One of Eminem’s breakthrough tracks: “Stan” told the story of an obsessed fan from a new point of view, from that of the fan himself. In first-person perspective, Eminem embodies the obsessed admirer by reciting two letters and one tape recording he sends to the rap star. Personal details that go a little too far are revealed such as “I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest” and “My girlfriend’s jealous because I talk about you twenty-four-seven.” The final message to Eminem is that of a scorned lover, full of rage, bitterness and resentment. Eminem responds back, setting boundaries: “And what’s this shit about us meant to be together? That type of shit will make me not want us to meet each other.”
At the end of Eminem’s response, he comes to a startling realization: someone that drove himself and his pregnant girlfriend off of a bridge turned out to be Stan himself. Eminem can only say “Damn” as he comes to terms with what he’d just found out.
This courtroom drama of a track takes a startling turn when we realize that the victim is actually the perpetrator. In “Testify”, we witness the woman of a man being prosecuted and her desperate pleas in the courtroom. He’s been a dope dealer causing stress to their family their whole life and it’s finally come around to haunt them. When the final verdict is announced “She’s shaking looking like she took it the hardest” but as she brings her head up in diabolical laughter, everyone knows that the woman who’s walking away scot free is the one who committed the crime: “The Queenpin.”
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