Detroit Hip Hop esham biography

Detroit Hip Hops Most influencal rapper- Esham aka the Boogie man aka Homey the clown . All hail the king of detroit hip hop.
esham at

ESHAM (East Side Hoes And Money) (born Rashaam Attica Smith on September 20, 1973) is a rapper from Detroit, Michigan and member of the hip hop group Natas. He calls his style of rock-influenced hip hop “acid rap”. He released his first album, Boomin’ Words from Hell, in 1990 at the age of 13.

Acid Rap

Reel Life Productions/Gothom Inc. is an independent record label based out of Detroit, Michigan, originally conceived by ESHAM A. Smith and his brother James, R.L.P. and set a new precedent in rap music from the Midwest. ESHAM created the music which he calls “Acid Rap”, a blend of violent reality raps and tales of vivid drug use over hip hop/rap beats that sampled everything from Heavy Metal to Japanese flutes.

His brother James, handled the back of the office doing all of R.L.P.’s business. What began as a small operation out of their mother’s house (coined as “Land of the Banned” on inside album cover art) grew into a full fledged record label.

ESHAM releases controversial projects at a frantic pace with each album offering a dramatic difference in creative vision and sound from the last. The lyrics drip with scathing religious and political commentary and often delve deep into the description of the dangerous Detroit underworld. ESHAM consistently pushes the envelope by incorporating a vast array of lyrical styles into his music. To this day he is labeled as “horrorcore” and a “shock rapper” by some media and music fans but he denies any similarities to those genres.

Early career

A gloomy, post-industrial and decaying Detroit helped ESHAM to formulate a career based on discussing the darker aspects of life. During adolescence, ESHAM attended Detroit schools during the school year while spending his summers back in Long Island, New York, not far from the Amityville Horror House. The anti-organized religion tones in many of his albums were quite bold considering the overwhelming Christian community in Metro Detroit. ESHAM pioneered in-depth rhymes detailing accounts of all kinds of mayhem including death, suicide, murder, illicit drug use, drug dealing and mental illness among countless other topics many considered to be too horrific for a recording album. In fact, lyrics from Esham and his group NATAS (Niggaz Ahead of Time And Space) were linked to a teenage suicide in Tennessee back in 1992. Anti-Abortionists protested his 1993 solo album, “KKKill the Fetus” to the point where his life was threatened repeatedly.


Natas was a group composed of three members, Esham, TnT, and Mastamind. Since their inception in 1992, the group have created a cult following and achieved legendary status in Detroit. The group temporarily disbanded in 2002, only to return for a reunion album (N Of Tha World) in 2006. There are currently no plans for future albums.

Natas stands for Niggaz Ahead of Time And Space’ and is sometimes mistaken for Satan backwards.


While ESHAM is known best for his hardcore concepts and controversial subject matter, his comprehensive work behind the boards as a producer has served as the backbone of his music career. Each and every Esham album since his first release “Boomin Words from Hell” has been almost exclusively self-produced. Advanced production techniques were learned at an early age and afforded him the opportunity to explore and eventually build a multitude of lush soundscapes for all of his albums. His production resume includes work with Kool Keith, Bone, MC Breed, Dayton Family, George Clinton and countless projects with local Michigan talent including East Side Chedda Boyz, Big Herk, Street Lordz, Boss, Proof of D12, ICP and Twiztid among others. ESHAM was once an artist on Psychopathic Records, but is not currently on the label, and even released a diss track to Psychopathic records with ABK and Lavel.

Reel Life Productions/Gothom Inc

ESHAM along with his brother James cemented their reputation as self-made men and independent pioneers with Reel Life Productions/Gothom by taking their music and merchandise nationwide which garnered great financial success and sales not to mention a cult army of fans who call themselves “suicidalists”. Reel Life Productions also set new standards in music & production quality from independents while also kicking down the doors for Detroit hip hop to be heard nationwide. Unfortunately, things went bad in 1996 when James Smith was sent to prison, convicted on a rape charge by his own wife. This left Reel Life Productions in shambles financially and the label eventually folded later in 1997. That same year, ESHAM started Gothom Inc., a company that is still in business today.


In 1998, ESHAM decided he no longer wanted to run a label by himself. He soon inked a deal with Novi, Michigan based label Overture Records which was run by Scott Santos. With ESHAM on the label, they created a new division called Overcore Records which quickly secured a lucrative distribution deal with indendendent giant TVT Records NYC (Lil Jon, Pitbull, Ying Yang Twins). This allowed ESHAM and his group Natas to have their music in stores worldwide. From 1998 until 2001, ESHAM released a total of 3 solo projects on Overcore and 1 album with his group NATAS.

Eminem Feud

During that time frame, ESHAM and Eminem were feuding behind the scenes which led to ESHAM dissing Eminem on his 2001 release Tongues. Eminem’s rap group D12 responded by attacking ESHAM and fellow bandmate TNT a few months later in August 2001 at a Warped Tour stop in Camden, New Jersey, which led to both ESHAM and D12 being kicked off the tour. In 2002, ESHAM,TNT,and Various Gang Members caught up with Proof and the D12 entourage in Hollywood at a Video Shoot which led to an attack in broad daylight (ESHAM and Proof later settled their differences at Proof’s record release party in 2005).It was in this timespan that Scott Santos could no longer take the violence and death threats which led to him leaving Overcore Records behind to start an adult magazine in Las Vegas.


In 2002, ESHAM would make a controversial but lucrative move by signing with Psychopathic Records of Novi, MI. By contract, he could no longer refer to himself as the “Unholy” instead going by the moniker “The Boogieman” which was reprised from his Judgement Day Volume 1 album. The next year in 2003, Esham released the solo album “Repentance” which was an album about asking God for his forgiveness. This Album brought us the popular track “Woo Woo Woo”.In 2005 after his second solo album “A-1 Yola”, turbulence behind the scenes between Esham and Violent J led to Esham parting ways from the label in the fall of 2005 following the August release of the long-awaited Soopa Villainz project alongside ICP and Lavel. Lavel left Psychopathic on semi-bad terms and began a beef with Violent J on a mixtape. During an interview he discussed Esham saying, “It’s common knowledge that Esham and Joe didn’t like each other the whole time he was there. He feels Psychopathic copied his business strategy.” Esham had recorded a track with Violent J for his Tongues album but then later dissed Violent J on a different track. Esham called Violent J a racist and Violent J responding that, “Esham has always blamed his problems on race.” When he had to close up his own label temporarily and went to Psychopathic, the supposedly squashed beef with Violent J along with the belief that his joining the label was never truly sincere are considered two main reasons Juggalos for the most part never took to Esham or expressed much disappointment with his departure beyond anger at the loss of the Soopa Villainz project. While there are still underlying issues unresolved from both camps, Esham and ICP agreed to settle their differences in an April 2006 press release as part of a settlement agreement. In interviews given after leaving Psychopathic, Esham declined to comment on the reasons for his departure or on anything related to the matter saying he was not able to make any comments. Conduct during interviews, video footage, and tours lead many to believe Esham got along very well with everyone except Violent J.

Present Day

Esham is currently in the studio wrapping up Sacrificial Lambz, a double album to be released in the summer of ’08

Join the unofficial Esham Messageboard


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