On this re-release episode of Disgraceland, host Jake Brennan revisits the story of Antron Singleton, better known by his rap name Big Lurch, and it’s not for the faint of heart; Jake warns that the story of Big Lurch is “one of, if not the most insane story you’ll ever hear about a musician.” He was six-foot-seven, fond of smoking joints dipped in formaldehyde, the highly flammable chemical used to embalm dead bodies, and he rapped about serial killers like Hannibal, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees, helping define the growing hip-hop subgenre, horrorcore. But it was a day in early April, 2002 that really made his story shocking, because that’s the day Lurch “ran down the street naked in the middle of the afternoon, covered in blood, chewing on his roommate's lung.”
Born in the Frazier housing projects in East Dallas, Texas, Big Lurch started making his name in the late 90s, rapping about the hard living, hard drug-using life he was used to; “slinging dope and gang banging,” the usual topics. He caught the attention of producer Rick Rock and went to Oakland to record an album. It was a flop, but at least Big Lurch had his foot in the door. But “the hip-hop game in the late ‘90s was going through a bit of an identity crisis,” Jake tells us. “Tupac was dead, so was Biggie. Suge Knight was in jail. Gangster rap as a genre seemed to waning in influence over mainstream America.” And Eminem had just released The Slim Shady LP, making waves with dark, “almost novelistic” lyrics about killing the mother of his child. “This new style that Eminem was messing with was called horrorcore,” Jake says, and by 2000, it was big. And Big Lurch was into it. “He rapped about serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, and horror movie villains like Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger.”
But his life started to imitate his art after Lurch was hit by a drunk driver, causing a broken neck. During his slow healing process, he turned to PCP to manage the pain. “Sure, it made the dreams wild; Silence of the Lambs, Chianti and fava beans, big bouncing grills and big bouncing a**es.” He stayed high for weeks, not eating, getting more and more delusional, until the fateful day he thought the devil was inside his roommate’s stomach. 21-year-old Tynisha Ysais didn’t stand a chance against the big man; he overpowered her, carved open her stomach, and pulled out her lung, “devouring bits of the organ with total inhumanity.” He was arrested naked on the street, her half-eaten lung in his hand, staring up at the sky. “Big Lurch, Antron Singleton, was woken from a two week PCP induced coma to learn that not only was he a murderer, but he was also a cannibal,” Jake says. “Big Lurch had no recollection of any of this.”
Milton Grimes, his attorney and owner of the record label planning to put out Lurch’s album The Puppet Master tried to argue the insanity plea, but the court didn’t go for it; he was sentenced to two life sentences. Milton changed Lurch’s album title to It's All Bad and released it in 2004. “Opportunistic, exploitative, oath, either way, he was right,” Jake points out. “The story of Big Lurch, it’s all bad.” Listen to the episode for a vivid recounting of Tynisha’s last day and Lurch’s horrorcore life, only on Disgraceland.
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