Headphones: Carnage Recruits Some of Raps Best For Battered Bruised & Bloody


It’s been nearly three years since Guatemalan DJ and producer Carnage dropped his debut studio album. Fans rejoiced when Carnage announced he would be releasing his sophomore project, Battered Bruised & Bloody, in early March. However, the album was put on hold due to a few tracks needing the finishing touch. With the DJ releasing songs like “WDYW” and “I Like Tuh” so long ago, many were skeptical of whether or not Carnage could return with the same ferocity he displayed on his 2015 album, Papi Gordo. After bringing together some of the unique talents in the hip-hop game, Carnage finally released the 13-track album.

Earlier this year, Carnage began dropping singles which teased the eventual release of his sophomore album. The first of those singles was “Learn How to Watch” featuring a trappy hook from Atlanta rapper MadeinTYO and a verse from Mac Miller. Fans have waited a long time to hear new music from Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller and this single provided them with exactly what they needed. Miller’s street-style flow is on full display on the track and perfectly complements the hook from up-and-coming MadeinTYO.

“I Shyne”, released in January of this year, features the voice of popping Soundcloud rapper Lil Pump. The beat of the track, which combines a high-hat heavy drum line with an alarm-like sample, was made for Pump’s aggressive rapping style. The track sounds like something Lil Pump cooked up himself, but instead shows his ability to spit over an unfamiliar beat. Fans essentially received a new Lil Pump track with “I Shyne” as both the beat and the vocals are strikingly similar to his previous work.

The last of the album’s singles, “Plur Genocide”, features the collaborative audio production skills of Carnage as well as fellow DJs Steve Aoki and Lockdown. The track is a house music lovers paradise as it features three producers with dense backgrounds in electronic music. The track is a perfect split of deep-sampled vocals and a series of intense drops making this a great EDM tune.

Shifting from the pre-released singles to the rest of the album’s tracks, Carnage teams up with hip-hop newcomer Young Troy to produce a song that focuses on the softer side of the artists. The track is opened up with a high-pitch intro from Young Troy. Young Troy effectively makes this track a combination of hip-hop and R&B as he spends a majority of the time singing in his high-pitched sound. Despite the high-pitched vocals and softer feel to the track, the overall sound maintains an upbeat tempo and vibe that makes this a great collaborative effort.

One of the best tracks from the album teams carnage up with the most prominent group in hip-hop, Migos. Nearly three months after the release of Migos’ second album Culture II, “Waterworld” gives trap and hip-hop fans another Migos banger to keep them satisfied. Quavo provides a catchy chorus to the track as he does on so many Migos hits. Along with verses from Quavo and Takeoff, Carnage sets the group up for success on the track by providing them with a simple, yet rhythmic trap beat perfect for the Migos to shine on.

As many DJs and producers do nowadays, Carnage has produced an album filled from top to bottom with some of the most prominent names in hip-hop and trap. These producers have found the key to success by recruiting such popular talents to provide vocals on their beats. While many find this strategy of producing albums filled with strong features lazy and repetitive, it provides hip-hop fans with albums full of diverse tracks.

Carnage himself is no stranger to features as almost all his work features vocals from top names in hip-hop. However, with Battered Bruised & Bloody, Carnage has found a soothing sound much different from his previous work. While many of his previous beats focused heavily on sounds borrowed from EDM and house music, his latest project has shifted his production talents to focus on making hip-hop tracks perfect for collaborating with prominent names.

While many may argue that the album has gained a majority of its attention from the stacked roster of features, it is only made possible by the skills of Carnage. Gaining some popularity with previous hits, Carnage has finally released a noteworthy track list showcasing his vast range of skills. With a combination of tracks made for R&B, trap, and EDM artists to shine on, Carnage has shown fans exactly what he is capable of. Along with that, he has shown that while this is his album and his beats, he makes music for the fans made clear by some of the names featured on the album.

Battered Bruised & Bloody is a perfect combination of tracks for fans of several genres. As DJs continue to recruit top talents like Carnage has done here, fans will continue to receive music specific to their personal taste. The album has something for everyone, and while most may not be die-hard Carnage fans there is little to complain about as one of their favorite artists is likely to show up somewhere on the album.