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Closed Casket

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Album Review

Closed Casket finds Esham indulging in his arguably theatrical, undoubtedly harsh fascination with morbidity one last time before moving away from blatant death themes on his following albums: Dead Flowerz, Bruce Wayne: Gotham City 1987, and Mail Dominance. Since this album follows some rather outrageous efforts, including the visually disturbing cover to the Maggot Brain Theory EP and the evil themes of Judgment Day, most fans taking a chronological approach to his catalog should be fairly numb to Esham's exploitative shock attempts. Yet if this is one of your first experiences with Esham the Unholy, this album should pack a punch with its dark nature. Either way, the production improves upon past albums, not as reliant on samples and obviously more crafted, but, unfortunately, not much else has changed. At this point in his career, after the cult success of his double-disc album Judgment Day, Esham seemed a little of unsure where to head creatively, recycling himself in an effort to deliver what fans wanted: more malicious fascinations with perverse themes. In the end, he delivers on his promise with Closed Casket, even if it seems a bit derived.


Born: 20 September 1973 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As an underappreciated cult artist, Esham's harsh hardcore rap thrived in this hometown of Detroit, Michigan, 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...
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