Flatlinerz was a hip hop group from Brooklyn, New York. The group was one of the early acts involved in the horrorcore genre of Hip-Hop, along with The Gravediggaz.
The group was led by Jamal “Redrum” Simmons (nephew of Russell Simmons) and two other emcees named Gravedigger and Tempest. The strategy thought up by Def Jam and Flatlinerz was that the group was to create a style of hip hop music that moved away from the popular gangsta style at the time and deal with darker subjects such as Satanism, horror movies, and gruesome murder. The group was heavily promoted as the next big thing by Def Jam after it signed with Def Jam by Jam Master Jay (contrary to belief, Russell Simmons apparently didn’t sign the group because he couldn’t take the concept seriously) and released its only album, U.S.A (which stood for Under Satan’s Authority) and was produced by Tempest, Rockwilder, Russell Simmons and DR Period. However, the album was not released by Jay’s JMJ imprint.
The album didn’t sell well, and there was a lot of controversy surrounding the videos for “Live Evil” and “Satanic Verses” (it featured things like frontman Redrum rhyming while hanging from a noose and Gravedigger rhyming from a crucifix), and the group was later dropped, since no one seemed to understand the concept of horrorcore at the time, and the group was seen by many as a facsimile of The Gravediggaz, who explored many of the same concepts, albeit in a more tongue-in-cheek manner. The failure of the group derailed several side projects, such as a Comic book, and two of Flatlinerz’s associates (namely the Headless Horsemen and Omen, who were featured on the debut album) who had been promised releases were also dropped.
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