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Top 10 Cage Kennylz Songs

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Gritty, Gory, Violent Horrorcore at its Finest

So Cage Kennylz tweeted last week that his latest project, “Kill Your Architect”, which was previously just going to be an EP, is now a nearly complete, full fledged album. To celebrate the impending gritty, gory, violent, raw horrifying music I’m about to shove into my ear holes, let me compile a list of my top 10 Cage songs for your listening pleasure.

As is always with these sorts of things, “Top 10” often translates to “10 Favorite”, so keep in mind that this is a subjective and not objective list. Still, these songs are my favorites because they’re lyrically strong with exceptional production, so the list isn’t entirely inviable. Without further ado and in no particular order:

1. Ballad of Worms

What kind of god is this?
Gave me the hottest bitch
Then took the life from her chest and left a pile of shit
Sloppy with a fork, so Chris gotta feed her
Too numb to cum, sometimes she piss while I eat her

Did Cage really just sample Built to Spill’s “I Would Hurt A Fly”? Hells to the yes, he did. And is it awesome? Fuck yes, it is.

Superficially, this song is about a dead girlfriend turned zombie girlfriend, but it’s said to have a deeper meaning: that of the struggles that Cage – otherwise known as Chris Palko – went through as he watched his girlfriend deal with a heroin addiction and meningitis. The song has got a uniquely creepy sound and feel to it, and that coupled with the dark and horrifying tale that Cage spins makes this very memorable, and in my opinion it’s one of his best.

2. Shoot Frank (feat. Daryl Palumbo)

While no nooses long enough to hang my excuses
Whether I’m dead, gun to my head, or reclusive
The end is close, almost no need for money
Yet when I wished for death nobody took my life from me.

The “Frank” in the title is Palko’s abusive step-father, and while the song is in a sense “dedicated” to him, the song itself deals with a few other themes like battling addiction, depression, and suicidal tendencies.

Daryl Palumbo’s relaxing voice rounding out the dreamy-sounding chorus, along with RJD2’s fantastic production, just adds another level of greatness to this song.

3. Hell’s Winter

In the club I don’t dance, I stand with a glass of vodka
Come to terms I’m just like my bastard father
Left my mother with a kid that flipped her lid
When I started to look like him, she threw me out the crib …
I’m trying to pick up the pieces
But each motherfucker that fucked my mother over would leave me to be this
Drug addicted menace, ain’t shit to do in this place
No longer flinchin’ from stepdad’s punches to the face.

Chris Palko had a pretty fucked up childhood. His biological father was a drug addict who used to force a young Chris to help him shoot up before he eventually got thrown in jail for threatening his wife and son with a shotgun. Palko’s step-father would physically abuse him, and Chris later ended up in a mental institution where he was misdiagnosed and given experimental drugs that made him even more depressed and suicidal. He airs it all out in this song. It’s gripping, honest, and emotional.

4. Among the Sleep

Think of three past deaths and find an escape route
All I have to do is wake up, lift the mast
And get shot off the boat and my back to get whipped in half
I wake up screaming, with a shotgun in church, feenin’
To kill myself, but I don’t know if I’m still dreaming
50-50 chance Imma die and go straight up
Or straight to hell, either fuckin’ way Imma wake up.

A dream within a dream within a dream = dreamception.

Okay, in all seriousness, this is a song about Cage having a series of fucked up dreams that end in him dying in various, very painful and bloody ways. He eventually figures out that the only way to truly wake up is to kill himself. The only problem is he doesn’t know if he’s still dreaming, or if this time he’s actually awake.

He pulls the trigger anyways. And then when he wakes up he freaks out for all of two seconds before immediately taking a hit from a bong. Cage, I love you.

5. Agent Orange

I survived abortion, got mushed in that canister shaped coffin
Til stolen from the garbage I was tossed in …
Orange Agent, shit on the vagrant
Caught you in the alley by yourself and left your head vacant
Dare you sample some of the stress in my life
Give an MC brain surgery with butterfly knives

Because no Top 10 Cage list is complete without this classic. Layered over yet another Clockwork Orange sample, Cage spits some of his darkest, grittiest lyrics. It’s the song he’s probably most well known for, and was what skyrocketed him to (underground) fame.

Don’t interpret that to mean the song is overhyped or overrated, though – any praise that “Agent Orange” gets is way deserved.

6. Suicidal Failure

Cage, snap out of this, it’s just a girl
It’s just the world, it’s just a life, it’s just a rusty Rambo knife
Wedged between my ribs scratchin’ my heart up tonight …
So much PCP I changed my name to watermouth
Pumpin’ Masta Ace I walked into a Jewish slaughterhouse
Throw myself on the hook (now that’s a chorus)
Got split from my neck to my dick (now that’s what gore is)

I know this entire song by heart and can’t help rapping along with it every time it comes on my iPod. Unsurprisingly, this gives me a lot of looks on the bus in the morning.

As one can assume based on the lyrics I selected above, this is a horrifyingly dark, gory, and violent song that lays out the story of Cage trying over and over to kill himself, but it never sticks, because “I’m meant to be here and that’s the fucking hell I live with.” Listening to this one is a good way to blow off steam when you’re pissed the fuck off. Also, the badass beat elevates the song to a whole ‘nother level.

7. Blood Boy

Christmas time wrapped up in gauze
Camouflaged, sitting on Santa’s lap to no applause
And cause mall doors to exit, the screams exiting jaws
When his pores pour out it shellacs the floors
Unless you are massively hemorrhaging to death in a bath
Would you ask to be sat next to Blood Boy in your class?

The beat is pretty simple and mellow for a Cage song, which belies the twisted story that the rapper spins on top of it. The boy oozing blood represents loneliness and depression, feeling useless, unlovable, and a huge burden to everyone around you – emotions that I’m sure many people can at one point or another identify with.

8. Days

This lifetime ticking on death’s clock is staged well
Want to escape worms in subways to hell
And you can meet your maker in a second
Depending on which maker you’re checking for
Me, it’s who manufactures my records.

The production is great as usual and the chorus is extremely catchy, but it’s the lyrics that resonate with me. It’s about growing up and moving on, and screw anyone who tries to tell you not to.

9. Captain Bumout

I danced with you just because you danced with me
I just want you to see that there’s more to
Being in a club and getting drunk and one of us is throwing up
Waking up like we’re in love

Best anti-club anthem ever. I love partying as much as the next gal, but I get where Cage is coming from here with being “such a misfit in social situations, I hate it.” Despite being in a situation where most people would be enjoying themselves and his “depression medicated,” he can’t stop thinking about how much he doesn‘t want to be there.

10. I Never Knew You

My finger aching for your doorbell like a random blog
Instead I lurk outside in the cold like an abandoned dog
Perish the thought, you should cherish the words that I got in my mouth
The only words that can truly explain how I got in your house
Because the sky opened and god handed you directly to me
I know it sounds crazy but so is life, I’m sinking
And feeling like your heart is beating solely for me.

Cage’s most recent album, titled Depart From Me, had a pretty different sound and feel to it than anything he’d put out prior. “I Never Knew You” is one of the standout tracks from that album. The production is amazing, first off. It’s slow and has a gritty, creepy edge that gives you the oddest feeling of unease even before you hear the lyrics. It tells the story of a guy who stalks a woman home before very possibly breaking into her place and murdering her.

Honorable Mention:

Cage’s verse in Slow Suicide Stimulus’ “BiPolar HiRollers” is just plain sick. It’s definitely my favorite one out of the many, many verses this song.

  • SteezO

    DOPE!!! We’ll done!

  • Dave Marshak

    I’ve been a Cage fan from back in the WKCR days. Awesome list but it barely covers any of his early work. Songs like ‘Special Ladies’, ‘Beyond and Back’, ‘Radiohead’, ‘Just Like Clockwork’ (along with Agent Orange was produced by Necro), ’54′(which is insane when performed live), ‘Daydreams’ and ‘4-Letter Word’. Check out the ‘For Your Box’ and even more rare ‘And So Kiddies…’ mixtapes to hear early and even more insane/dipped out Cage material.

  • Phil Krakken

    Rad list. Lets get married and listen to Cage.
    Ever seen a live performance?

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  • eric

    Im looking for this one cage song …i dont remember the name but i had a gnarly synth and he was kind of singning in the song. I would catagorize it with “Alright” because its not on any of his albumsand its some of his newer work. Please help!!

    • Bryce Gordon

      It might be “Sad Sack”