San Diego rapper F.O.E.
Yes, I realize it's no longer Halloween. But a good horror-inspired song released on Halloween is still a good horror-inspired song after Halloween. Besides, who the heck only likes horror movie stuff in October? That's like only liking presents around Christmas or, um, Hanukkah ... or, I guess, Kwanzaa, if anyone celebrates that (don't even go there -- I've already heard that pun on my name many, many times).
Rapper F.O.E. (formerly Young Foe) dropped the music video for his new song, "Ridin Tonight" (watch the video here), this past Halloween. The music video turns out to be something of a short movie but props to F.O.E. for not trying to sell that too hard like other rappers usually would to try to make themselves look tight.
The "Ridin Tonight" video starts with a very random, very senseless act of violence on the street. Two strangers accidentally bump into each other and the DJ Shadow-lookalike cat stabs the other dude dead. What follows is a bloody, disorienting, karmic nightmare for the guilty party followed by an ending that seems very much inspired by the opening to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 1. It's well done with lots of blood and shaky camerawork with old school filters for a classic horror movie experience.
The song itself is straightforwardly good. The beat sounds like if early-2000s Dr. Dre (the one who still made music) produced a beat for horrorcore rap king Brotha Lynch Hung. The beat has something resembling that signature Dre bounce and hard claps while this underlying dissonance adds this slightly gothic feel to it. F.O.E. raps well about getting revenge while coating the urban environment with a horror-inflected tint. Guest rapper Bigg Tupp also deserves mention for inserting his daughter into the storyline briefly. This has the effect of elevating the entire song, the violent vibe looking even darker as it clashes against the innocence of a child. It's a good move as a writer.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.