One of Northern California’s most talented emcees is Brotha Lynch Hung. For nearly 20 years, the Sacramento spitter has been left out of the mainstream conversation due to the fact that his lyrical imagery deals with cannibalism, sexual perversion and vivid accounts of serial killing. While Eminem, Notorious B.I.G. and Geto Boys were praised for it, the X-Raided protege was shunned and confined to fan pockets that heard the skill in the delivery from the rapper who influenced Snoop Dogg and Three 6 Mafia. Seven years removed from his last album, Lynch By Inch: Suicide Note, BLH has linked with another shunned lyricist Tech N9ne to release Dinner and a Movie on Strange Records, setting the stage for what may be the veteran’s biggest potential audience to date.
Hung does not compromise. Dinner still may sicken the faint of heart with songs like “Colostomy Bag,” which references vaginal stabbings (both literal and metaphoric), as well as drinking blood and digging graves. However, in a culture that appears desensitized to trigger and shank references, Brotha Lynch Hung takes you to the slaughterhouse. Within these images, he also uses the song to also execute San Francisco 49ers similes and East Oakland street references. First single “Meat” might be veiled as a song about the hunger for flesh, when in actuality, the song is brilliant Rap commentary on the recession. “Meat” begins with “I only got enough money for some hamburger meat / But I still ain’t trippin’, that’s the shit I like to eat / But my son, he like, ‘Daddy, this is all we got to eat?’ / I’m like, ‘Son, I’m ’bout to sign bigtime, I’m downloadin’ beats…” That honesty is rarely seen from a rapper who’s sold mid six-figures of his catalog within a 17-year time-span. Whether Lynch is kicking fact or fiction is forever unclear, but as the emcee threatens to kill his own fans if he can’t feed his son it becomes a certainty that he’s a unique rhyme-writer.
Dinner‘s most honest song is “I Tried To Commit Suicide.” With the first verse explaining Lynch’s reaction to his mother’s death along with his insecure youth, the rapper may be hinting to his escape through Horror. By the third verse, the Sacramento Crip explains how selling cocaine funded his first EP, which carried a Parliament Funkadelic sample. This song is as revealing as Joe Budden‘s “10 Minutes” or 2Pac’s “Thugz Mansion,” and deserves recognition as one of the most brilliant depression raps of the ’00s. Lynch is best supported by his ensemble of G. Macc, First Degree The D.E. and C-Lim, who strengthen the songs with background vocals and bridge verses. Ironically, both his Strange Music posse cut and Dogg Pound-assisted track are two of the album’s more mediocre moments. Both Snoop Dogg and Tech N9ne are pillars of Lynch’s influence, and they show it on “Another Killin'” and “Don’t Worry Mama, It’s Just Bleeding.” However, neither emcee can outdo Lynch on the song, and the assists appear as homages more than sincere agreements. Still, these tokens add to the fact that after nearly a decade, Dinner not only marks Lynch’s return, it suggests his importance to the game.
Silence of the Lambs is a gruesome Horror movie, but its an enduring film that plays often on the AMC network. Equally, Brotha Lynch Hung’s interests separate him from most of his peers, but within his Horror-raps are intricate rhyme schemes and a lot of truth about his views on society. Strange Music succeeds in slowing down the rigorous rhyme writer enough to offer his most comprehensive album since Season of da Siccness, and true to both his catalog themes and production. Regardless of what one thinks about the slashings, the bondage, and the eating habits suggested within Dinner and a Movie‘s rhymes, the honesty and delivery that mixes with the Horror make this album both a brilliant comeback story, and a career milestone.