When you think about it, a hip-hop song can oftentimes play out like a horror movie. Tropes of homicide, robbery and societal chaos aren’t odd topics in the genre, with rappers sometimes treading to even grislier territory – cannibalism, torture and mutilation – as boasted within the horrorcore subgenre.

Occasionally emcees take their fetish for violence and lurid subject matters one step further by drawing inspiration from horror films; oftentimes for satire and nonsensical fun, but also to elevate a song’s graphic nature, as is the case when rappers compare themselves to iconic serial killers (Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers being common offenders).

To commemorate the Halloween season, we’ve browsed through our music library to harvest up some of rap’s most notable references to horror cinema. From cult ’80s slashers to psychological thrillers, here are 15 of the best horror movie shoutouts in hip-hop.

D12 – “American Psycho”

References: American Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Carrie, Halloween (Michael Myers), Psycho

Notable Lyrics:

[Eminem]

I’m (white), a human mutt, fuck a being
I’m a dog – fuck lambs, I’m silencin ’em all
I’m involved in murders forensic science couldn’t solve
Giant set of balls too big to buy a set of drawers

[Bizarre]

I’m livin in Waco Texas, me and my girl
Fuck David Koresh, I’m startin my own world
It’s called Bizarre Cemetary, it’s scary
Eatin a virgin’s cherry, they’re all gonna laugh at you Carrie

[Kon Artis]

“Journey into the mind of a psychopath killer”
Light yo’ ass like a liquid nitro-gas spiller
Psycho slash Michael Myers, Michael Jack’s “Thriller”
Rifle slash knife faggot that’s your “Cop Killer”

https://vimeo.com/26606636

Kanye West – “Monster” feat. Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, Rick Ross & Bon Iver

References: Child’s Play, Bride of Chucky

Notable Lyric:

[Nicki Minaj]

Forget barbie fuck Nicki she’s fake
she’s on a diet but her pockets eating cheese cake
and I’ll say Bride of Chucky is child’s play
just killed another career it’s a mild day

Geto Boys – “Assassins”

References: A Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy Krueger), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Godzilla

Notable Lyrics:

[Juke Box]

Once lived Sheila, yeah, I meant to kill her
Her teeth was big and gappy, so I called her Godzilla

Now I knew the girl was ready, she started gettin sweaty
But all was in my head was ‘kill the bitch like Freddy’

[Johnny C]

Bare butt-naked I headed for the car
The massacre was from Texas, so I pulled out the chainsaw

Jay Z – “D’evils”

Reference: The Exorcist

Notable Lyric:

My flesh, no nigga could test, my soul is possessed
By D’evils in the form of diamonds and Lexuses
The Exorcist, got me doing sticks like “homie
You don’t know me but the whole world owe me, strip!”

Lupe Fiasco – “Super Cold” 

Reference: The Shining

Notable Lyric:

And he leaves all types of cold tracks all behind me
And you can follow those if you ever wanna find me
Better dress warm or you might end up like the Shining
Not that boy or that lady, but that nigga gone crazy

Wu-Tang Clan – “Gravel Pit”

Reference: House on Haunted Hill

Notable Lyric:

From Park Hill, the house on haunted hill
Every time you walk by, your back get a chill
Let’s peel, you want to talk rap skills?
I spit like a semiautomatic to the grill

2Pac – “Troublesome 96”

Reference: Candyman

Notable Lyric:

Pistol packin’ fresh out of jail, I ain’t goin’ back
Release me to the care, of my heartless strap
Say my name three times like Candyman

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – “Hell Sent”

References: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Leatherface), Rosemary’s Baby

Notable Lyrics:

[Intro]

Pur back on earth to destroy all workshipppers of peace
Body bags and caskets may all godd cease
Together they form an organization much stronger than the mafia
First, Krayzie Bone AKA Leatherface The Sawed Off Gangsta

[Wish]

A lynchin ain’t shit compared to what I’m a give ya
I’m born and raised in hell and bitch I’m sent here to kill ya
I’m Rosemary’s baby
There’s no more evil like me
Cause when niggas think of death the motherfuckas picture me

Tyler the Creator – “Transylvania”

Reference: Dracula

Notable Lyric:

Bite her in her fucking neck, bite her in her fucking neck
Bottom of the fucking lake, bottom of the fucking lake
Call my gang of wolves and bats
It’s a full moon tonight and these hoes ain’t acting right
It’s because I’m Dracula bitch, swag, swag, swag
It’s because, Left Brain, Wolf Haley, Free Earl, Golf Wang

Eminem – “Criminal”

Reference: Friday the 13th (Jason Vorhees)

Notable Lyric:

Shit, half the shit I say, I just make it up
To make you mad so kiss my white naked ass
And if it’s not a rapper that I make it as
I’mma be a fucking rapist in a Jason mask

Ludacris – “My Chick Bad” feat. Nicki Minaj

References: Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street

Notable Lyric:

[Nicki Minaj]

It’s going down, basement, Friday the 13th guess who’s playing Jason
Tuck yourself in you better hold on to your teddy
It’s nightmare on Elm street and guess who’s playing Freddy

RiFF RaFF – “Kris Krangle” feat. Kid Sister

Reference: Poltergeist

Notable Lyric:

Hustling in the cut, kawasaki full throttle
Keep a couple of gold models, cutting coke in toronto
I’m a bring the rice, pour the syrup in my slice
Rap game neon space, turn heads like Poltergeist

Gravediggaz – “Diary of a Madman”

Reference: Jacob’s Ladder

Notable Lyric:

You’re sinking and sinking deep into the earth
Thoughts was possessed since the first day of birth
My mental says it’s my turn to possess the matta
Stab you with a dagga of Jacob’s Ladder

Outkast – “Git Up, Git Out” feat. Goodie Mob

Reference: Rosmary’s Baby

Notable Lyric:

They taught me how to smoke herb
I followed them when they ran numbers
So in a sense I was Rosemary’s baby
And then, I learned the difference between a bitch and a lady

Styles of Beyond – “Murderer” feat. Celph

Reference: Ichi the Killer

Notable Lyric:

[Excerpyt: Tak]

Face mask semblance driftin’
Nice gems, an extraordinary gentleman
Sweep the villa with petite guerrillas
Blades on my heels slicin’ like Ichi The Killer

For more Halloween-related content, be sure to check out the following:

19 of the Creepiest Supreme Collaborations Ever
The Highsnobiety Halloween Buyer’s Guide
The 5 Best Halloween-Inspired Nikes

Words by Nico Amarca
Fashion Editor, North America
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