Let’s do something a little different this Dark Deviations. Everyone knows that I’m glued to the boob tube, but there’s other places to venture that I have a passion for. One of them is music.

Nerdcore hip hop artist Richie Branson (Marcus Brown II) first caught my eye a while back with his clever rhymes and shared passion for Gundam Wing. However, we’re not here for a nostalgic stroll down Toonami Lane. We’re here for that dark deviation in the path, straying in the shadows where something other may be lurking…

And Richie went there.

Well, thrice.

Ghouls ‘N Ghosts II: Villains

Today we’re celebrating Richie Branson and Mega Ran’s terror-filled trio of EPs – Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts II, and Ghouls ‘N Ghosts 3: The Nightmare Before Christmas. But more specifically, a collaborative ode to The Villain in their second EP titled (properly), “Villain”, featuring Richie, Yung “King” Mavrick, Bambu, Rosebudd Red, and Mega Ran.

The song plays delightful homage to several horror icons, while focusing on the villain and what about them illicit fear, plus their own unique quirks. Narrated to introduce each artist, the song explains a cacophonous night of a villain free-for-all, announcing them like characters from a video game or anime. With Richie’s background in both video game development and nerdcore, I don’t believe that this is just a coincidence.

The Line-Up :

Richie Branson:

This was when I realized that I don’t draw beards well

Richie likens himself to more of an “every-man” homicidal maniac, conjuring images of Charles Manson, Jason, and Hyde. He calls himself a beast for having “felony dreams” of “killing every intelligent being”. He even advises the listener to stay away from him and to learn about him or else they may ends up as remains in his home, too.

Best line: (it’s an easy dig, but I like it) “You better get your mind right/Thinkin’ you’re hard/But you’re softer than Twilight”

Villain Level: 2/5 – Your average killer

Rosebudd Red:

I could not find a picture

Rosebudd Red’s character is much more supernatural, conjuring superstitions and creepy atmosphere. “Insane” in his own right the character while being emotionally broken, his character focuses more on rampage due to his “heart filled with flame”. He’s also a wild card who revels in the chaos.

Best line: “Full moon and wolves howl/13 stories lookin’ down/Before sunset tryin’ to ruin the town/Any victims lemme look around”

Villain Level: 3/5 – You don’t know where or when he’ll be there, you just know he will…and will enjoy every minute of your terror…

Yung “King” Mavrick:

Don’t let the sensitive eyebrows fool you

Yung “King” Mavrick is the cold, hard and calculated kind. Lawful Evil, perhaps. Kind of a Kingpin-esque supervillain as he talks of breaking glass ceilings, prodigies, his team and literally “taking over the galaxy”. And with his promises of delights, he also brings promises of pain and torture if you do not abide by him.

Best line: If you ain’t down with my team/Pull up with the mask/No Halloween/No Courtney Cox/Just scream”

Villain Level: 5/5 – It’s the methodical and careful ones to watch out for…

Bambu:

Don’t let his sensitive beard fool you

Bambu…um…is a zombie? Snake? Animal? Alien? That killed his friends? And was born on Mars…I think he’s a Martian that has been desensitized from killing his friends and not sleeping.

Best line: “Zombie life/I never sleep at night/And that’s the reason that I’m lookin’ like a fish tonight”

Villain Level: 1/5 – I…am not sure what kind of villain he is.

Mega Ran:

Sorry, I had to draw him with a smile

Our final villain, Megan Ran pulls it all together. Mega Ran plays his villain classic with a twist: “Freddy Kruger screwed in the medulla”, being just as sadistic and playful as Freddy: “Man, I’m crazy c’mon/My cranium gone/Blade in my pocket/I’m happy to see you”. He is a confident and inviting villain, coaxing you to try your luck and see how far you can get before he tears you apart.

Best line: Makin’ you regret the day you were born/On this world like an alien swarm/Man, I’m crazy c’mon/My cranium gone”

Villain Level: 4/5 – a solid contender with both deadliness and creepiness

The Winner:

Can I name favorites? Of course.

All bow to the king!

It’s good to be the king

Bottom-line:

This is an extremely fun song full of immensely talented artists, so I recommend that you check it out and check out the artists, too (hint hint; Mega Ran is currently on tour, maybe near you!) But the song itself is full of 80’s horror icons, mixed in with a great beat and a terrific collaboration/showcase of each artist. Check it out for yourself sometime.

About the Author

When not howling Tina Turner classics with Glorious Spouse under a Detroit moon, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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