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Esham
Esham
As an underappreciated cult artist, Esham's harsh hardcore rap thrived in this hometown of Detroit, MI, for years before an ensemble of artists with a similar style began crossing over into the mainstream in the late '90s. Long before rock acts such as Limp Bizkit began rapping, long before rappers such as Kid Rock began rocking, Esham was integrating a rock influence into his rap in the early '90s, crafting a unique style of self-declared "acid rap." In fact, this term is rather fitting, given Esham's taste for hallucinogenic rhymes revolving around paranoia, death, drugs, sex, and downright evil -- an extremely decadent synthesis of all things nightmarish. Beyond his knack for rock-influenced beats and exploitative-themed rhymes, Esham also proved himself to be a prolific artist, releasing over an album a year after debuting with his first album in 1990 at the tender age of 13. Yet despite his impressive credentials, by the end of the '90s, the Detroit rapper still hadn't extended his reach beyond his cult following, unlike other Detroit artists such as Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP, and other similar rap groups such as Three 6 Mafia and Brotha Lynch Hung.
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