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Michigan horrorcore rap duo Twiztid bends nightmares into big business



Twiztid with Potluck, Kung Fu Vampire and Sixtysix Killz
7 p.m. Sunday
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S. Eastern
$18 advance, $22 door

In a world that heralds the "normal," Twiztid's found there's plenty of money to be made appealing to the legions of outcasts.

Following in the footsteps of Insane Clown Posse, Michigan's Twiztid has built an empire to rival that clown act. Jamie Spaniolo and Paul Methric " aka Jamie Madrox and Monoxide " have created their own world, playing home to freaks and violent fantasies, which takes the gratuitous violence of gangsta rap to a gorier, grimmer, comic-book level.

If Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees starting rapping, they'd probably sound a lot like Twiztid.
"You wouldn't believe how many people have no idea who Twiztid is. It's amazing. We aren't a Jedi force yet, but we're headed that way," said Monoxide.

The act's dark, nefarious world is characterized by tracks like "We Won't Die," "Serial Killa," "Buckets of Blood" and "The Argument," where Monoxide confesses, "I'm filled with evil that leads me into darkness / And when I start this, you'll probably say that I'm heartless."

The songs are a reflection of the pain, corruption and alienation bubbling beneath our culture's crust. The duo blends eerie synths, thundering hip-hop beats and a persistent rock undercurrent into a something feral enough to make 50 Cent seem like a petty thief.

"We're music's biggest kept secret," Monoxide said. "We're more underground than anybody. I challenge anybody to do the numbers, the amount of merchandise and the amount of ticket sales that we do, with the amount of resources that we have."

It's no idle boast. Despite precious little media attention or promotion, Twiztid has become a musical juggernaut.

The group's shows frequently sell out and each of its seven albums has made the Billboard Top 200. Last year's "W.I.C.K.E.D." peaked at No. 11, proving a relevance beyond mere cult: something more on par with Marilyn Manson, even without major label backing.

"'W.I.C.K.E.D.' was 100 percent an album made for horror fans. We went into it looking to make something terrifying," Monoxide said.

The duo got its start during the '90s in Detroit horrorcore troupe House of Krazees. When that group broke up in 1997, Monoxide and Madrox came up with their current personas. Insane Clown Posse helped get them on the Island label, and it's been onward and upward ever since.
The pair expects to release its next album at the end of the year, accompanied by a greatest hits release, "Essential Twiztid."

While there's little argument about the graphic nature of their lyrics, Twiztid feels they're an appropriate response to the world we live in, offering fans a release to vent frustrations.

"That's exactly what it is: a release. It's not an endorsement. It's a natural reaction to a natural emotion," Monoxide said. "We see it as they've finally found a place where (fans) belong, where they can actually come and be themselves. They don't have to worry about people looking at the way they dress or the way they do their hair or the way that they talk."

"We accept them with open arms," Madrox said. "We accept them as who they are." "Chris Parker

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