There is some unexplained attraction to death and the midnight marauders that invaded the dreams, or rather nightmares of the underground hip-hop scene in the 90’s. With a force that seemed almost otherworldly at the time, Three 6 Mafia, Triple Six Mafia, 666 Mafia, any way they were sliced; were a hurricane in the foundation of rap. Stemming from the south, their distorted bass, rapid-fire machine gun lyrics, and graveyard instrumentals were a catalyst for a whole current wave of artists to follow.
Koopsta Knicca had moderate success with his first solo tape that was exclusively produced by DJ Paul, another member of Three 6 Mafia. But it was the digital remaster of his first tape released under the name Da Devil’s Playground: Underground Tape (1994) which then saw a name change as Da Devil’s Playground: Underground Solo Tape. For it was the lyrical styling and production that made Koopsta Knicca relatable to Three 6 Mafia and the consistent references to dark magic, sacrifice, and Satan that makes Da Devil’s Playground stand tall as a monumental underground hit.
“Robbers, they hang in the hood where they ride clean. Stang-Stangin’ like a bumblebee with my .45 G-L-O-C-K” creates the chorus/hook on “Robbers” where the 808’s are sudden and create this mosh pit of hellish sound. Koopsta Knicca’s vocals however are often higher pitched and rely on the production to create the actual sinister sense. His lyrics are rugged, but his approach is almost a perfect rear-facing confliction that works to form this perfect arch. He is almost comedic in the way that he describes through tracks “Front A Busta” or “Anna Got Me Clickin’” in the vocal samples that drone on and reflect a direct line of that hardcore rap style.
As Gangsta Blac explains, “Lock, lock you in the fucking trunk while I hit the fucking bong. Now, now I’m going crazy man, all I see is blood…” Koopsta Knicca comes swinging in, “Creeping through them parks and running them bitches up out them boulevards, this that type of shit that’ll make you click to get your ass in.” The method and direction is fairly clear on Da Devil’s Playground as the forming fog wraps around the listener and drags them down to this unknown hell.
Rising from the graveyards, Koopsta Knicca is a deadly as a chrome .45 hidden in the suit jacket. With the manipulation that comes from the frightening display of synth chords that carry him into the afterlife. Or it could be the way that he rides through the darkness in an all white gleamed gloss, Koopsta Knicca is one of the more important displays coming from hip-hop’s history.