Trade Voorhees Is Rap’s Master of Macabre

The Northtown artist keeps his latest project (in the) dark

Trade Voorhees | Photo by Rob Seher

Trade Voorhees | Photo by Rob Seher

By the time you read this, North Las Vegas rapper/producer/slasher flick aficionado Trade Voorhees (real name Stephan Perren) will have dropped his 12th project. Like most of his recent work, it was released on Saturday the 14th, a nod to the horror series from which he derived his moniker. The album and songs are untitled—you’re encouraged to name them yourself—and will be available exclusively as a physical copy until the next Saturday the 14th, which is in November. It might seem counterintuitive in the SoundCloud era but the 27-year-old isn’t concerned with clicks, followers or branding. We talked to him about his beginnings, the concept behind his new release and his real favorite horror icon:

He was a metal baby. “If you ask my parents, they’ll say these exact words: ‘Back when he was 2 years old, before he could even talk, we would sing a song and he could pick out the album artwork, put on the record and put that song on.’ My parents used to throw metal house shows, and there were people moshing in my living room.”

Snoop Dogg changed his life. “[Snoop Dogg’s] Doggystyle is probably the whole reason why I’m rapping. Front to back, it’s one of the most incredible albums I’ve ever heard.”

Thanks, John Cena. “I used to go by the name Trademark but everyone would always call me Trade. I got tired of being called Trademark, and I saw John Cena the wrestler made a rap album with a guy named Tha Trademarc. I was like, ‘Nah.’”

Freddy vs. Jason. “I was trying to come up with a last name and Voorhees stuck with me. I was a huge fan of Jason [Voorhees from Friday the 13th] but he’s not even my favorite horror icon. I’m more of a Freddy guy. I like the charismatic come-off that Freddy has, the way that he talks; he has swagger.”

Eating rappers for lunch. “I went to Western [High School] and I used to freestyle, so we would battle. Everyone would put the new guy coming to the table against me—a little pipsqueak white boy—and I would always eat ‘em because they’d be rapping about guns and I’d be bagging on their shoes right there on the spot.”

Stripping the title. “I had a working title of POE—kind of a “poetry over everything” idea with Edgar Allan Poe as the inspiration. The cover is a dead raven, but none of the songs have anything to do with Edgar Allan Poe. I started thinking about titles. What’s the point? Fans create their own ideas of songs, their own pictures in their heads, things that just click with them. … If you wanna call this song ‘Shit,’ if that’s the only thing that sticks out to you, call it that.”

The album arc. “I go from topics such as touring to darker, morbid stuff like ‘Norman.’ There’s a bit of a temperature change on the album, but toward the end, it goes right back up. I have this song, Track 6. The story is about a guy who’s stuck in his own eternal hell where he’s allergic to a medicine that leaves him paralyzed. He can feel and understand everything that’s happening in the room but he keeps going through this over and over and over again … And then I go into the “Coolest Motherfucker on Earth” song and it totally changes the vibe of the album.”

Don’t call it horrorcore. “I’ve always had horror elements in my albums. I don’t try to go overboard or “horrorcore.” I want to do it more in a referencing style, maybe play a character but not necessarily over glorify violence. That’s why if you watch ‘Norman’ there’s no blood in the entire video.”

Mosh with him. “I don’t necessarily want the whole world listening if they’re not going to catch on. I’d rather do a house show with 100 little knuckleheads breaking shit instead of a stadium of 5,000 people who don’t know a lick of my words. I hate doing shows where people don’t vibe. I hate doing shows where people just stand on the wall. You should go home. I want people to mosh. I want people to go crazy. I want people to have fun.”

Got new music or upcoming shows? Holler at or @zoneil on Twitter.

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