With the rapid growth and expansion of hip-hop/rap, we have witnessed an emergence of different sub-genres and styles over the years. One of these sub-genres is a genre known as “Dark Rap,” Horrorcore, or, horror hip hop.
Unlike hardcore hip-hop and gangsta rap, Dark rap themes often push highly violent content and imagery in their lyrics.
Oftentimes, dark rappers (dark rap artists) go beyond what we could term “the realm of realistic urban violence.”
They push this violent narrative to the point where the content of the lyrics becomes gruesome, scary, and very unsettling.
However, regardless of the content and nature of these lyrics, there are still millions of people who love and cherish this sub-genre of rap music.
In this article, without following any particular order, we will present to you, 20 dark rappers whom we feel everyone should know about.
A Brief History of Dark Rap
Dark rap is believed to have started in the 1980s and early 1990s. The genre got inspired by punk music, heavy metal, grunge, and horror films.
Hip-horrorcore hop’s subgenre is characterized by lyrics containing scary and violent themes, including murder, death, horror, and macabre.
The lyrics often include horrific depictions of violence, gore, depression, ritualistic sex, and supernatural elements.
It is thought to have started in Buffalo, Detroit. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, and Atlanta.
Jimmy Spicer, Dr Jecckyl, gangsta rap, Geto Boys, Flatliners, and Gravediggaz are some of the first horror hip-hop pioneers.
Over the years, hip-hop has gained more horrorcore musicians and a fan base. Some other upcoming genres musicians include; Volk, Xavier, kamikaze, and Insane Clown Posse. This has seen the genre’s popularity grow.
However, a part of the population critic horrorcore believing it to be dangerous and encouraging crime among its listeners.
This is because a percentage of musicians and their fans have been linked to various criminal activities, such as mass murder, gang activity, and drug trafficking.
20 Dark Rappers You Should Know
Over the years, dark rap has emerged to be one of the popular hip-hop sub-genre. Some known dark rap artists are Ghostemane, Denzel, Bbno$, and Lil Tracy.
The artists have gained fame for their dark lyrics and horrific graphics. Although the dark rap genre is controversial, it is quite popular in the rap scene. Some of the few dark rappers from youtube are discussed below.
1. Denzel Curry
Donnie Rae Don Curry was born in 1995 on February 16, in Carol City. Denzel is a rapper, singer, visual artist, and songwriter. Hardcore hip-hop, punk rap, and trap are his primary musical genres.
Curry released his first mixtape, King Remembered Underground Tape 1991-1995, on September 24, 2011. Later that year, he joined the hip-hop group of SpaceGhostPurrp called Rider Klan.
He gained the attention of the Future label in 2012 when he released his second mixtape, King of the Mischievous South Vol. 1 Underground Tape 1996.
Later that year, Dnzel, managed by Mark Mutarah, uploaded his debut single, Dark and Violent, to SoundCloud.
The Raider Klan was dissolved in 2013. Curry released his debut album, Nostalgic 64, in September 2013.
Curry’s debut double E.P., 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms, featuring his popular song Ultimate, was released on June 9, 2015. Curry has since released other singles and albums, including
Scarlxrd’s real name is Marius Antonio Listhrop. He was born on June 19, 1994, in Wolverhampton, UK.
His core genres are Trap metal, Nu metal, Indonesian Hip Hop and Rap Metal. Karius started his career in 2013. He used to upload his music on youtube under the name Mazzi Maz, now called Scarlxrd moniker.
He founded Nu metal, a rap/rock band named Myth City, in 2014. In 2016, Scarlxrd released Girlfriend and 2 albums, Rxse and P.T.S.D.
In 2019, Scarlxrd won the Kerrang! Award for Best British Newcomer. Since then, Mariius has released bangers under L.X.R.D. Records and Island Records, with his current album release being Acquired Taste Volume 2
Jonathan Robert Whitmer was born July 17, 1999, in California. He goes by the stage name Kxllswxtch. He is a rap artist and composer.
His songs are largely characterized by screams and horror-inspired graphics, which frequently feature violence.
Kxllswxtch started recording music in 2017. He released numerous tracks on SoundCloud before releasing his first EP, InVain.
In 2020 he released his first official E.P., the 8-track KILL!, with no guest appearances. After relocating to Miami, Kxllswxtch began 2021 with Pouya collaborations on Lord of the Flies and Burn.
Kxllswxtch released his first project, DISORDER, in 2021. His last project was BOMBS AWAY, which dropped on his youtube channel. He is currently doing tours in the United States.
Deadmemxry was born in Dortmund, Germany. He is a dark rapper who started his career in late 2019. His genre includes Alternative/Indie, horror hip hop, and soundtracks.
Though new in the dark rap scene, Deadmemxry has made a name for himself, gaining many fans. Deadmemxry has also featured in the Dreck album under the label, Walk This Way Records. Dreck is a collabo featuring Drave, Zombies, and Mnypnk.
Deadmemxry is mainly known for his 3 albums:
- PUPPETMASTA -2021
- Delirium- 2019
- SATURNINE CALLING-2021
Matthew James Robinson is Kamakaze’s true name. He was born in Leicester, England, on November 12, 1993. Kamakaza is a professional musician and footballer for the National Dagenham & Redbridge.
He began writing lyrics as a youth. The main genres of Kamakaza are hip-hop, cloud rap, and grime. Kamakaze released a freestyle in 2015, which made him famous.
He featured on the FIFA 20 Volta soundtrack alongside Leicester producer Massappeals in 2019 and did a football freestyle on the B.B.C. Kamakaze’s song Kam Dog was featured in the FIFA 20 Volta gameplay trailer.
His song Last Night, which featured Massappeals, was also on the FIFA 20 soundtrack, making Kamakaze the first artist to have a song on the FIFA soundtrack while also previously starring as a football player.
Kamakaze has been nominated for Best Grime Act at the 2022 MOBO Awards. One of his famous hits is Endless Fall.
Ghostemane’s full name is Eric Whitney. He was born on April 15, 1991.
Ghostemane is a guitarist, singer, band performer and songwriter. His genres are heavy metal and hip-hop. However, Ghostemane began his career in hardcore punk and doom metal bands from Florida.
In 2015, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a rapper under the stage name Ill Bizz. Around this period, he was a member of the hip-hop group Schemaposse.
His album, N/O/I/S/E, was widely anticipated by the underground music scene before it was released in 2018.
So far, he has 11 albums, whereby 3 are collaborative albums under GHOSTEMANE, Tripple-B Records, A.M.R. Songs l.p.2, and BLACKMAGE Records. He has also featured in the movie “Everybody’s Everything.”
Alexander Leon Gumuchian was born on June 28, 1995, in Canada. He is a songwriter, singer, and rapper. His music genres include electronic, hip-hop, and r&b. BBNO$ began his music career in 2014; however, he was not well-known in hip-hop culture then.
BBNO$ rose to fame in 2020 due to his viral hit in 2019 with the Y2K-produced tune Lalala, certified in platinum and charted in three states. Alexander is dubbed a mumble rapper because of his unique mumble rap flow style.
BBNO$ is signed to six record labels, including his own bbno$, Baby Gravy, Ingrooves, and others. Top gun, U mad, Bad Boy, and Mathematics are some of his biggest hits.
Ruby da Cherry and Scrim, cousins, founded the hip-hop duo, Suicideboys in 2014. The duo is from New Orleans. Depression is a major theme iof their music.
Their music is renowned for its harsh, in-house beats, vicious lyrics, and themes frequently touching on drug misuse and suicidal ideation. The duo is considered one of the best groups in the underground rap scene.
After a few years, Suicideboys released their first studio album in 2018. The album, I Want to Die in New Orleans, was successful commercially and became their first top-ten album on the American Billboard 200.
Shameless $uicide is the title of their most recent E.P. All of their music is distributed through Virgin Music Label & Artist Services under the management of their label, G*59 Records, which they also run.
9. B.X. Menace Frankie
Menace started his rap career in 2017, at the age of 13. He is also known as Young Menace To Society. He performs hip-hop/rap and mainly borrows his style from the late 1980s rap style.
His first song was Shooters on Deck Freestyle in 2019. During the same year, he dropped 9 more singles and a mixtape. Menace later dropped 3 E.P.s:
In 2021, B.X. released a couple of singles, 1 mixtape, and 2 E.P.s. His last release was in 2022, a mixtape called @Young Menace To The SocietyII: The Menace Returns.
$nooky is a Newcomer to the hip-hop music scene. He hails from Bremen, Germany. Like other musicians in dark hip-hop, his music is distinguished by macabre imagery and lyrical content.
The themes of his songs include despair and death. $nooky distributes his music through SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.
$nooky has already put out a few singles, the most recent of which is titled Recollection and Ride.
In addition, he has released covers, the most popular being Heaven Part 2- Nascar Aloe Cover. A few of his other hits include Memorial Tee, The Give Up (Part III), and Star.
Nothing much is known or written online about this rapper. It is possible that he could be a relatively unknown artist or an upcoming one, for that matter. However, his music is still worthy of note. He has quite a distinct sound that sets him apart from other dark rappers.
BlvckChvrch is a dark-rap upcoming artist. He is a solo musician but also plays with bands. He started his music career in 2021. Though new to rap, he has released some songs featuring artists such as Alcantra and Divz.
BlvckChvrch’s first song was Noise, a collabo with Divs. Other songs he has released are:
13. Toni Pandora
Toni Pandora is a Finnish rap artist from Helsinki. Toni began his music career in 2004, but he only began uploading his tracks on various social media platforms in 2016.
Toni is categorized as a gothic rap musician. Aggressive lyrics and obscene imagery mark his music collection. Toni primarily sings about extremely intellectual, complex issues and subjects classified as strange.
Pandora mainly sings in his native language. His first song was Omin Sanion, released in 2011 on youtube. Some of his songs are;
14. Tommy Wit Da Tone
Tommy Wit Da Tone is also known as Lil Defilement- the name used in the song Never Promised Heaven ’97– among other names, is a dark rap artist.
Tommy Wit Da Tone doesn’t have much background information from the web. However, he has been linked with quite a few songs that he has sung. Below are some of his hits:
15. Blake Thoughts
Rapper and hip-hop artist Blake Thoughts was raised in the U.S. He started rapping at quite a young age. Blake is renowned for his capacity to dig deeply into his own experiences and turn them into dope beats.
Blake Thoughts is a musician, but he also takes an active role in his neighborhood and uses his platform to raise awareness of crucial social and political issues.
Blake has 1 album, Blake Vision, with various songs being collabos with Bigg Juice and M. Kanye. Other popular songs from him are:
16. Etsuko Keehl
Etsuko, also known as ET$U, is a rapper from Europe; she is among the few female dark hip-hop artists worldwide. Etsuko started her rap career in around 2012.
Keehl’s genres of music are rap, dark rap, and rock. She does song covers and is also a female vocalist.
Although she has no album on her title, Keehl has a couple of songs streaming on Soundcloud and youtube. Weak, Do You? and Whateva are some of her bangers on Soundcloud and youtube.
17. Volk a.k.a Cannibal
Volk is a rapper and beatmaker based in Russia. He began his music career in 2009 as a horrorcore artist. Volk’s genres are Horrorcere/ Devil Shyt / Horror rap. Though not much is known about Volk, he has a number of popular hits:
18. Xavier Wulf
Wulf was born on October 24, 1992. He is an American rapper who hails from the East side of Memphis. He was initially a Raider Klan member, along with Chris Travis and Eddy Baker, and was first known as 2012’s Rodolphe.
In 2013, when the Sitting Wulf EP was published, he switched his stage name from Ethel Wulf to Xavier Wulf and released The Wolf Gang, his new album.
While hip-hop is Wulf’s primary area of interest, he also works with numerous independent fashion designers and has his own company known as Hollowsquad.
His live performances are as loud and aggressive as his music, recreating the energy of underground punk-rock shows where injuries, stage diving, and mosh pits are frequent.
19. Lil Tracy
Jazz Ishmael Butler was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, on October 3, 1995. Professionally, he is known as Lil Tracy. He is a rapper and vocalist from the United States.
Tracy’s genres include alternative rock, hip-hop, SoundCloud trap, and cloud trap. Butler began writing music when he was 15 years old.
He began rapping as Yung Bruh before switching to Lil Tracy. He later joined the GothBoiCligue band in 2012, which was responsible for the song White Tee.
Among Lil’s albums are Anarchy (2019) and Designer Talk 2. (2020), and Saturn-born (2022). The mixtapes XOXO and Life of a Popstar were both released in 2017. Lil has kept putting out music, his popular being Awful Things.
Iamjakehill’s real name is Daniel Jacob Hill. Daniel was born in Chicago. He is a HipHip hop/ Rap musician. He started his music career in 2016. He is a member of a rap duo together with Josh. Their first song was Nuketown.
Daniel is under 4 record labels: Josh A & Iamjakehill, 629243 Records D.K., Create Capital, Pinecone Gang, Josh A. His popular songs include: By The Sword, Die A King, I Choose Violence and Satin Black.