• "I laugh at you if you miss because you're bound to die
  • you fucking around with some niggas that high off formaldehyde
  • that zude the bang soothes the brain before I do a hit
  • from the land of the wet cigarettes" Big Lurch

Taken from the Southern gangsta rap classic, 'Texas Boy', rapper Big Lurch introduces the world to the mean streets of turn-of-the millennium era Fort Worth, Texas. Rife with taunts, threats and undeniably unique ways of "getting fucked up" (remember, this is a region of the world that popularized 'sippin sizzurp'), 'Texas Boy' carries all the hallmarks of the region's brand of hip hop.

Stacked next to any other Southern rappers of the era and Big Lurch's lyrics aren't particularly noteworthy. When New York City and South Central were dominating hip-hop's headlines, Southern rap was slowly building a reputation for dirty party like beats and often more vicious almost horror core lyrics. Exposing drugs, violence and the reality of nationally neglected ghetto life, Big Lurch's lyrics don't necessarily stand out next to regional colleagues like Scarface, Baby and early Outkast. However, it's not his reputation as a lyricist that makes Lurch a contender for this instalment of 'Real Recognise Real', the new 405 series dedicated to uncovering the gangbangers, murderers and general psychopaths of the music industry who seemingly only moonlight as recording artists. Instead, it's his reputation as something far more sinister.

If you missed last month's instalment of 'Real Recognise Real', we focused on legendary Norwegian death metal band Mayhem, a group that revelled in the death and destruction found scattered throughout their discography, however, this week we're turning our attention to the Southern rap scene. Arguably more hostile than any other scene in US urban music, Southern hip-hop exploded in the mid-to late '90s and by the turn of the century it had become a major contender for both underground credibility and mainstream exposure. While people like the Cash Money Millionaires, Outkast and Master P ascended to new levels of success, there are quite a few examples of associated acts amongst the scene's forerunners that found it impossible to discern fantasy from reality.

Like Fort Worth Texas born Big Lurch. Born Antron Singleton in 1976, Big Lurch cut his teeth during the Southern explosion of rap with a bevy of unique characteristics that trademarked the South at the time. Unusually tall and thin (hence the nickname Big Lurch), he rapped in a distinct southern drawl over minimal beats overly characterized by thick bass lines and high hats that reeked of enough swagger and charisma to see Lurch collaborate with such heavy hip-hop hitters as E-40, Too Short and Mr. 'Shake Ya Ass' himself, Mystikal.

On tracks like 'Gangsta Gangsta' and the aforementioned 'Texas Boy', Lurch dropped simplistic but foreboding lyrics like the latter's hook which simply repeated "already boy/ I'm from Texas Boy/ with a fat gat to drop a nigga in seconds boy." Frequently waving his street credibility around like a flag and threatening violent acts against anyone against him, Lurch was building a lasting reputation amongst the Southern gangsta scene in the run up his debut album, which was intended to be titled The Puppet Master.

However, on April 10th, 2002 something unusual happened that cast a shadow over Southern hip-hop and its legitimacy. Big Lurch's housemate Tynisha Ysais was found murdered with her chest torn open and teeth marks along her body. Several hours later, Big Lurch was picked up by local police, naked and covered in blood. It wasn't until later did authorities discover the human flesh inside of Big Lurch's stomach wasn't his own.

Now, here's where things take an even shadier almost Suge Knight-like route. Big Lurch was defended in court by his attorney Milton Grimes. Grimes actually ran the record label Lurch's debut was scheduled to come out on and changed the name of the record from The Puppet Master to the more foreboding It's All Bad against the rappers' wishes while Lurch claims Grimes made sure he wasn't even properly dressed for his court appearance. Lurch now claims from behind bars that Grimes actually cut a deal with the district attorney for a favour on another case he was working on. Now a convicted criminal decreeing his innocence isn't exactly anything new, however the state of California did actually later order Grimes to pay over a million dollars to the mother of a previous defendant who died as the result of potential police brutality for not properly litigating the case. Even more compelling, Tynisha's mother later claimed in a documentary that detailed the case called Rhyme and Punishment, that she was willing to take the stand on Lurch's defence during the trail. Along with the Lurch's teeth marks not matching the wounds found on the victim as well as an unidentified bloody hand print found on a scooter used to kill her, Tynisha's mother claimed that Big Lurch had no hostility towards Tynisha unlike her current boyfriend, who was a known violent gang member who was rumoured to have hit her previously.

But what about Tynisha's body parts found in Lurch's stomach at the time of his arrest? Arguably the most blatant example of his guilt right? Well Tynisha's mother later claimed that Lurch was "tripped, he saw that piece of lung lying on the floor and he probably figured it was a piece of meat or whatever."

The truth is only a few people know what happened that night, and Lurch himself may not even be one of them. However, the facts remain that Big Lurch is currently serving time in the mental health program of Donovan State Prison without parole in sight. What might be most interesting is the prosecuting attorney was reported as using a track from Lurch's debut entitled 'I Did It To You!' as evidence.

I'll leave you with the lyrics...

  • "There's a million ways to die, million ways to kill,
  • so I'm a set an example out of muthafucka without my steel
  • cuz I'm like hungry lion, I moves in for the slaughter
  • killing for the simplest things, twenty dollar bills and even quarters
  • I'm like a vampire, nigga fresh meat I can't pass it,
  • walking down the street a syringe, injecting fools with battery acid"