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Detroit rapper Esham is one of the pioneers of the sub-genre known as horrorcore — pushing the violence in the lyrics to the max, often controversial extremes. For better or worse, he had a huge impact on fellow Detroit artists Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse, and in fact he was signed to ICP's Psychopathic Records for a while. Three decades into his career, he put out his 20th album (by our count) last year — Dead of Winter — and it's typically subversive. Live, he'll grab you by the throat (metaphorically, of course), and shake you till you smile. Despite frequent accusations of satanism, it's all just fun and games, so soak it up.

Esham plays with Hexxx and Ninja Loc at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at the Whisky A Go Go.