by Julian Spivey
As we welcome October with its cool breezes, and - now socially distanced - festivities, we often think of scary movies, pumpkin patches and killers in masks. Rarely, if ever, do you hear anyone say what they’re looking forward to most about the season, is the music. Granted, Halloween music has nowhere near the mega-market that Christmas music has, but it seems that quality trumps quantity in this particular situation. With songs like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” Halloween season is a heavy hitter when it comes to music!
That’s why we’re celebrating 31 Days of Halloween Hits here at The Word for the entire month of October. Every day we’re going to bring you a great song that fits right in on your Halloween playlist. Some are songs specifically written for the holiday, but others are great selections you can listen to year-around but have a great theme for the spookiest of all holidays. Some of these songs you’ve certainly heard and some are lesser known that we hope to familiarize you with.
We’ve had rock, pop, country, funk, soul, folk in our 31 Days of Halloween Hits playlist, so it’s about time we add some Hip-Hop to the fray – some old school Hip-Hop that is.
Before Will Smith became TV’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in the early ‘90s he was a Hip-Hop star with his friend DJ Jazzy Jeff (who would have a recurring role on ‘Fresh Prince’). In August of 1988 in plenty of time to become a hit before Halloween of that year DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince released “A Nightmare on My Street,” off their second studio album He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper. It went to No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“A Nightmare on My Street” is a tribute to the hit 1984 Wes Craven-directed horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” that brought the psychopathic child killer Freddy Krueger into pop culture and led to a popular series of films.
The song tells of a group of friends watching the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series with their girlfriends and then once The Fresh Prince falls asleep, he has his own encounter with the famous horror series villain. When his alarm clock goes off, he awakes to realize it was just a nightmare … until he sees his slashed bed sheets.
“A Nightmare on My Street” was actually considered for use in 1988’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” before producers decided against it. The song actually got DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince sued by New Line Cinema, the copyright holders of the film franchise. Both sides would settle out of court, but a filmed music video for the song was forced to be destroyed (though a copy did somehow get out and can be found online). The record label was also forced to add a disclaimer sticker to He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper that said: “This song is not part of the soundtrack … and is not authorized, licensed or affiliated with the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ films.”
On a side note:
Of all of these playlist songs we’ve been adding this month it’s DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s absolutely harmless “A Nightmare on My Street” that absolutely scared the every-loving bejeezus out of my Tree Walker Coonhound Bennie. Bennie has lived with me for almost a year now and I’ve never once seen him scared of anything. During the end of the song with the Freddy Krueger like voice comes on Bennie got up and ran frantically around my house before finding me and leaping into my arms. Who would’ve thought DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince could have that affect on a dog?