Cryptic Collection, Vol. 3

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The third volume of Twiztid's Cryptic Collection features nine brand new tracks and five remixes, all teeming with Madrox and Monoxide's particularly bold take on Insane Clown Posse-inspired horror rap. "Shock & Awe" is a murderous revenge fantasy, laying waste to everyone from actor Danny Glover to pay-for-play radio programmers. "An underground killa murdering VIPs," "Jump into your mosh pit with hatchet in hand," they rant. "And then back into the underworld we crawl." Amid celebrations of how they met and a run-through on the genesis of their various nicknames, "Know Good" and "Keep It Movin'" also demand that all Twiztid fans "represent the dark carnival of life." (ICP guests on the latter track.) As for the remixes, standout "She Said" is a somewhat less chaotic version of Green Book's "I'm the Only 1," with its hip-hop underpinnings amplified to suggest the 2Pac classic "How Do U Want It." With its violent outlook and cynicism, Cryptic Collection can be a bit hard to take for the uninitiated, and the recording sorely misses the production support of Psychopathic Records regular Mike E. Clark. Still, it's heartening to know that even Madrox and Monoxide smile sometimes: they include a surprisingly faithful version of the Steve Miller Band summertime classic "The Joker." The song is likely a coded reference to those obsessed-over joker cards. But it's nice to think of Twiztid as regular-guy Michiganders, singing karaoke at the local sports bar.

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