So scary it’s scary

Razakel brings horrorcore rap to Dayton

By Gary Spencer

It’s a shame that female musicians still struggle to be taken seriously, regardless of their chosen musical genre. And it’s well known that women have struggled historically to be taken seriously particularly in rap music. But the most dedicated of these ladies fight through, oftentimes twice as hard as their male counterparts, and eventually gain acceptance and respect from their peers, breaking through the barriers and garnering success. One such female MC is Austin-based horrorcore rapper Razakel, who has experienced discrimination in her musical career but kept at it until she got the respect she deserved.

“It was definitely an obstacle when I was first starting out, but people took to it well,” Razakel says.  “Sometimes people will not take me seriously because I am a female, and they think I’m trying to win them over with sex appeal and my looks. That’s not my style. I might have a pretty face but I can definitely spit like the guys in this genre. But with anything in my life, I love a challenge. I understand respect is gained, and I work just as hard as any man.”

While Razakel didn’t start rapping until 2006, she had been writing since she was a little girl, so the evolution seemed natural.

“Since I was a little girl I was always into reading stories and poems, then I eventually started writing my own stories and poems,” Razakel explains. “When I hit about 19-20-years-old, I started putting my word play to beats/music, and it all just kind of evolved from there. In 2006, I dropped my first CD release titled Murder Potion. It was less than a year [later] that I got signed to Serial Killin Records. That has been my home since.”

Serial Killin Records, on name basis alone, is an apropos home for Razakel’s lyrics and music. A foremost practitioner of the horrorcore rap subgenre, Razakel’s music often recalls creepy melodies one might associate with themes from horror films such as “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th.” And lyrically, Razakel’s songs are definitely rooted in horror—she regularly raps about murder, bloodshed, torture, dismemberment, death, evil and everything in between.

“It’s like describing a horror movie—the lyrics are very descriptive, dark and gory,” Razakel elaborates. “I am fascinated with horror movies, true crime and serial killers. I watch documentaries and movies all the time and find inspiration. I read the newspaper and turn on the news and am inspired. Some people think my music is violent and scary, but it really is no different than what’s on TV. We hear and see stories of rape, murder, violence, kidnapping, etc. I tell the same just in song form—I paint dark pictures you piece together in your mind. Sometimes this world is not the pretty place it’s made out to seem; my job is to lure you in and show you the darkness.”

Despite the decidedly dark nature of her music and the graphic, gory nature of her lyrics, Razakel contends that her music has appeal beyond horrorhounds and those with a taste for the macabre.

“I think my music can appeal to anyone,” Razakel says. “If more people would give it a chance, I think they would be surprised. I don’t like to categorize my music to one specific type of people. Music is meant to be enjoyed—I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, how old you are, what you look like.”

Razakel’s rap style shows hints of her favorite MCs including Da Brat, Brotha Lynch Hung and Eminem, but her evolution as an artist over time has led her to discover her own style that grabs your attention.

“I have been doing this for years, but have changed my style a bit and added more singing, so it’s not typically rap like 90 percent of this genre,” Razakel says. “I fit in, but I also stand out. I have successfully made my own sound and [am] still working harder everyday to make it better.”

Working hard has been key to Razakel’s success. To date, she has nine studio releases and puts all of her energy into her craft including performing live, but it’s work that she truly loves.

“My live shows are my release,” Razakel explains. “I love performing live and connecting with my audience. If you come to my show, expect to have a great time and feel my songs. I’m up there giving my all, literally pulling my hair out, up in your face, demanding your attention. Whether there are five people or 5,000, I treat all the shows the same and give my all.”

Razakel will perform Saturday, March 19 at Rockstar Pro Arena, 1106 E. Third St. in Dayton. Musick 2 Murder 2, Asher Gemini, H3lynz, JBIZR, The Amazing Parry, Pariah, Ninth Circle, South Side Soldiers and Killa Killz are also on the bill. Tickets are $10 in advance and the show is all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit razakelmusic.com.

Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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