Slug Christ — aka Slugga, aka Slug Messiah, real name Chaz Bell — stood out as the strangest member of Atlanta, Georgia's left-field hip-hop, R&B, and trap-inspired Awful Records crew. Awful Records began rising to prominence around the 2010s, receiving attention for their fiercely independent approach to music, an ethos Slug Christ would come to embody. Slug Christ had an eclectic background in music and art prior to joining the Awful crew; his initial forays into the Atlanta scene were in metal bands, where he performed as a vocalist. He was also a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he studied painting. Upon leaving college he began creating experimental electronic music, often utilizing odd time signatures, 8-bit hardware, and drone techniques. Although his electronic music had its fans, he gradually gravitated toward hip-hop, while retaining the unusual production techniques he had picked up along the way.
During that metamorphosis he encountered Awful Records artist KeithCharles Spacebar, who invited him along to an Awful Records club night in 2010 that happened to be the album launch for key member Ethereal; from there he met the rest of the crew and formed a creative bond that would nurture his off-center approach to hip-hop. After joining Awful Records, Slug Christ maintained a prolific creative identity, regularly collaborating with the other members and releasing numerous mixtapes, all of which defined him as a tripped-out darkwave/rap innovator. In 2015 he released his debut album, Crucifixion of Rapper Extraordinaire, which was seen as a culmination of his previous work, covering themes such as suicide, hard drug abuse, and pseudo-religious contemplation; he described the record as "an ode to a forgotten self-sacrifice." The debut was quickly followed by another eight-song LP, God Is Under the Porch Where the Dog Died, in late 2015, and another, titled Sometimes Even the Moonlight Hurt My Eyes, in early 2016. ~ Liam Martin