QUIT SAYING “UNITED STATES OF HORROR” SUCKS. IT DOESN’T SUCK.

Last week Ho99o9 dropped the video for their new single, “United States of Horror.” The response to the single hasn’t been good but let me explain why that’s the wrong way to look at it.

Started in New Jersey but relocated to Los Angeles, Ho99o9 is an experimental hip-hop group that meshes together punk, industrial rap and horrorcore. They are often compared to Death Grips but that’s really just a cheap comparison. Once you give Ho99o9 a listen you’ll be sure to understand why they stand in their own unique lane.

The O.G.M. and Eaddy started the group in 2014 and have gained quite a bit of traction in three short years. They were noted by Rolling Stone as an ‘artist you need to know’ and have been a huge addition to the Afropunk music festival as well as maintaining their own headlining tours.

Set to release May 5, United States of Horror is the group’s newest album named after the single they released this last week.

The video is politically charged and takes stabs at Donald Trump, police brutality, racism, government oppression, and the mainstream media. It’s obvious Ho99o9 has a lot to say about what’s going on in the U.S. right now and this single lets us know we’re going to hear all about it on this next album.

“United States of Horror” isn’t my favorite single. It isn’t nearly as captivating as some of Ho99o9’s other songs. Much like all the angry YouTube commenters, I will admit that I felt slightly underwhelmed when I first heard it.

This track is a little slowed down for my taste and the vocals come through more audible which is different for Ho99o9. They usually are more fast paced with punky vocals and a lot of distortion. Overall, this track seems overproduced compared to their previous projects. I love that Ho99o9 has a messy, unfinished aesthetic to their music and I hope that’s a trait they carry on with them throughout the course of their career. However, artist should be able to do whatever they want. As consumers, fans, and critiques, I think we tend to forget that and are quick to throw a fit when our favorites don’t make something we “like.”

This single allows Ho99o9 to get in-your-face in a way that they haven’t before. This approach is more honest, conscious, and concerned.

And that’s why this single doesn’t suck.

“United States of Horror” might not be the track that you hoped to hear but it’s a track you need to listen to.

We shouldn’t be bothered that Ho99o9 wants to talk about politics and social issues. I understand that these types of things aren’t usually what we hear from Ho99o9 but just because they’re using their voice in a new way doesn’t mean we should completely discredit this single.

Up to this point, everyone has supported Ho99o9 as punks but now that they have taken a stand they’re all of a sudden not the hardcore, punk group they used to be? Didn’t the punks build their whole culture upon taking a stand, doing what they want, and saying ‘fuck authority’?

Even if Ho99o9 is saying “no regrets”, “staying true to yourself”, and “one love” – it’s still the same message as the punks of the past.

I’m really looking forward to this new album and especially their tour. Their shows are an energetic mix of mosh pits, gymnastics and performance art. In the meantime, make sure to pre-order  United States of Horror and buy tickets for the Amerikkka Tour at .


HO99O9: Website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Soundcloud | Spotify

FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF HO99O9.

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