Night Life

Gas Up the Chainsaw: Ganxsta NIP Is Back

When picturing Houston hip-hop, most fans are apt to conjure images of hedonistic success: candy paint, gold grills and a cup full of purple stuff. And why not? The good times roll on a set of wire-spoke rims down here. But from its very earliest days, the city's sound of the streets has contained its fair share of darker themes as well: Drugs. Misogyny. Murder. In the '80s and early '90s, especially, it wasn't all good in the 'hood.

Nowadays, most local MCs are content to rap around the edges of this heart of hip-hop darkness, careful not to stare into it too deeply. But in that same darkness there still dwells a man known as Ganxsta NIP.

His 1992 Rap-A-Lot debut, The South Park Psycho, pushed past the violent and gritty lyricism of MCs like Ice-T into a whole new territory of fucked up. Rhymes about chainsaws, cannibalism, dismemberment and necrophilia cast Ganxsta NIP as the villain in an auditory slasher movie. This wasn't hardcore rap; this was horrorcore. And like any good horror-movie villain, Ganxsta NIP always returns for another taste of blood.


After more than two decades in the hip-hop underground, Ganxsta NIP is back with a new album, proclaiming himself the God of Horrorcore Rap. Drenched in anxiety-inducing production work, NIP's thoughtfully gruesome lyrics on the new record are punctuated by the cackling laughter of a gleeful psychopath.

Distributed through his own label, Psych Ward Entertainment, there's a certain sinister, homemade quality to the record, like strange footage found on an unmarked VHS tape left behind in a creepy-ass cabin in the woods.

What possesses a rapper to write love songs to a knife, with couplets like "Cut that nigga's ass up, homie, limb to limb/ His family members came running, so I stuck it in them?"

"God just gave me the talent to do it," NIP says simply.

On the phone, he's soft-spoken and humble but seems tense, like someone who's constantly on the verge of cracking up into something you can't begin to handle.

"It's easy for me to write a horrorcore song, when it's harder for me to write something that's for the radio or something just positive," he adds. "It's harder. But I can write a horrorcore song in 10-15 minutes and be done. That's what made me the god of horrorcore, because God gave me the talent to do it."

Story continues on the next page.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith