It’s been 13 years since the epic smash 3rd Bedlam album Bedlamitez Rize. After Bedlamitez Rize, Madness and Prozak went their separate ways. Prozak’s story post-Bedlamitez Rize has been pretty well-documented with the 5 releases he’s done over at Strange Music changing his style along the way. While Prozak blew up, Madness kept mainly to Central and Southern Michigan putting out solo projects, a rock project, and continued to hone the craft since he first appeared on the scene as one half of Simken Heights. He helped put out classic wicked anthems such as “Lethal Injection” and “You Flushed Our Baby Down the Toilet”, as well as surprising classics like the politically charged “Last Man on Earth” to the heart wrenching “Can’t Save The Fuckin’ World”. However, Prozak has been asked in interviews here at FLH, as well as Juggalo News, True Juggalo Family, KillMusick, etc about if we’ll ever see a new Bedlam album. We typically got the same answers: When the time was right, Unfinished Business, Good things come to those who wait…. It’s been 13 years, and it seems Curt-D got tired of waiting.
Returning to the fold alongside Madness is Staplez, who has not rapped on a Bedlam release since their 2nd album Chemical Imbalancez Vol.II way back in 2001 [note: Staplez did contribute spoken vocals on Shock Treatment and Bedlamitez Rize]. But to replace The Hitchcock of Hip Hop, the boys would need to bring in somebody with as big of a reputation in the underground. That’s exactly what they did. Rounding out the new trio of Bedlam is Saginaw legend Ghetto Devil. You might have heard Ghetto Devil‘s name be mentioned before among the Michigan wicked underground. He was part of the legendary U.N.L.V. [Unholy Niggaz Livin’ Vital] with KGP, and was part of the supergroup Lethal Lega-C with V-Sinizter, Damien, and Project Born‘s Mr. Nitty. So with Ghetto Devil joining Madness and Staplez, we have the long-long-long-long-awaited 5th Bedlam album…. 9!
- The Mystic #9 Intro
- Mosh Pitz Of Hell (feat. KGP)
- The Kids
- Broken Barbie Doll Intro
- Broken Barbie Doll
- Sounds Of The Devil
- Feed (feat. BAD MiND) (Remix)
- Wicked Wayz
- Russian Roulette
- See U On Tha OthaSide
Some might be asking. Why the title 9? The number 9 has been well documented with Bedlam‘s entire career with the famous line “First there was 6, now there is 7, both are combined, 1 is 9”. This was mentioned right away with the album’s intro “The Mystic 9” which also declares the return of the Wicked Shit in it’s pure untouched form.
The second track, “Bedlam”, is the official return of the group as a whole, and assures that the new incarnation of Bedlam will continue to harness and embrace its roots to the Michigan Wicked Underground. “Mosh Pitz of Hell” Ft KGP gives us both a reunion of UNLV, as well as a reunion of Necrology with fellow SagNasty MC/Producer KGP jumping on this BadMind beat that samples Slayer‘s “Raining Blood”. “989” is another Saginaw anthem giving fan’s outside of Central, Southern, and parts of Northern Michigan [989 is the Area Code for a large chunk of Michigan] a taste of what life is really like for the bigger, more metropolitan cities here in Michigan. Believe me, Saginaw is a pretty dangerous place to walk at night in [Note: I do not live in Saginaw, but I’ve visited it a lot growing up].
The next song, “Hangman” is a true horrorcore song that sends chills through your bones. Hangman could be compared to the Grim Reaper, Death, or for juggalos “The Wraith”. It wouldn’t be a midwest wicked shit release without a song involving children, a topic that Bedlam has always covered. “The Kids” continues that grim and dark trend, continuing to confirm that Bedlam has no problems crossing the morality line in music and succeeding.
The 3rd time’s a charm with redoing the classics, and we got the 3rd version of the classic Bedlam anthem “AMKR“. Unlike the version from Bedlamitez Rize, this is under a different beat and sound. It still impresses, and while Staplez and Madness use their original lyrics, Ghetto Devil replaces Prozak’s verse with something brand new and more morbid. Gothic chicks, Emo girls, and Juggalettes get their own anthem with “Broken Barbie Doll” which embraces the beauty of those alternative gals in ways that nobody else could describe. “Sounds of The Devil” might sound to those like your typical wicked shit song you’d hear from Esham, ICP, or Twiztid. However the lyrics will tell you that this is the untapped version of the Wicked Shit. It’s a ssnuff film style rap for those who are truly into that morbid shit.
“Feed Remix” ft BadMind is a remix of the song from the latest BadMind album. So pretty much everything is the same except for the beat. It’s a little more gothic, dark, and extreme…a style which I personally enjoy. “Wicked Wayz” is done 1994 NaTaS Blaz4Me style with all 3 men sharing their verses rapid-fire/cypher style. The lyrics are more of a battlerap style putting EVERYBODY who has an issue with the wicked shit on notice. “Russian Roulette” is a suicidal/homicidal anthem that pretty much is self-explanatory. There ain’t enough bandwith on this review to explain what Russian Roulette is, so I’ll suggest to just listen to the song and Google it up for the meaning.
The first song of the album was called “Bedlam”, so you pretty much expect the title of the next song to show up somewhere. I’d say that “RedRum” is a sequel to the legendary “It’z Murder” from Chemical Imbalancez Vol. I and Bedlamitez Rize. It’s a Bedlam classic of wicked shit mixed with extreme violence and unapologetic lyrics that you’ve come to expect. Next is “Outro” which features all three members speaking on whatever is on their mind. They tell those who are new to Bedlam [which at this point would be A LOT of those reading this] what you should be prepared for when you first listen to Bedlam.
But that’s not the end of the album! “Imagine” comes next which is a step in a different direction. It’s a positive rap about what life would be like if the world was more positive. A little PMA as KG-Kevin Gill would say. I think this will be the sleeper hit of this album. The last song on this LP is called “See Ya on Tha Otha Side” which some of you might have heard on the compilation Bedlam… Unheard & Rare (2008). The song has Madness on a couple of verses, while the rest is covered by Mr. Fonz, CB, and South 40 [If I got this wrong. Feel free to let me know Thx and all apologiees]. This was an interesting way to end the record with some battle rap style shit done the way Michigan Rappers know how to do it.
All in all, 9 is a fresh reboot for the wicked shit genre which has been known by many names such as Acid Rap, Horrorcore, Ghetto Metal, Devil Shit, HorrorCrunk, and Dark Rap. The lineup might be a bit different, but it’s the same Bedlam you should have expected from the minute they announced their return. The Wicked Shit is back and it’s never going to die! Even though Madness was off-beat on a few of the songs, everything else on the album made up for it.
In an era dominated by social media, and with rap music being so saturated by p!op that it’s become a laughing stock among true rap fans, Bedlam’s 9 is a breath of fresh air! So in closing, I will say this: 2013 saw Simken Heights drop a new song, 2014 gave us the reunion of NaTaS, and in 2015 we got the return of Bedlam! Let’s hope this trend continues so that we get some other underground legends to return to the scene!
- Mosh Pitz Of Hell
- Broken Barbie Doll
- Wicked Wayz