Antron Singleton, also known as Big Lurch, was high on PCP in April 2002 when he killed his roommate Tynisha Ysais because he thought the devil was inside of her.
Big Lurch could have been one of the biggest names in hip-hop. Considered one of the pioneers of the “horrorcore” subgenre of rap music, the Texas native loomed as large as his 6’7″ physical presence.
But just as he was on the cusp of worldwide fame and superstardom, drugs got in the way. And the end result of his addiction was one of the most violent — and shocking — crimes in music history.
This is the strange but true story of Big Lurch, whose PCP addiction ended in a gruesome tragedy.
Big Lurch’s Early Life And Rise To Fame
Born Antron Singleton on Sept. 15, 1976, Big Lurch grew up in East Dallas, Texas. He began writing poetry at just seven years old, and he started performing professionally when he was 15. While many other artists at the time were writing lyrics about sex, drugs, and gang violence, Big Lurch preferred to rap about things like serial killers, vampires, and even cannibalism.
His first release was with the rap collective Cosmic Slop Shop, which also featured fellow rap pioneer Ricardo “Rick Rock” Thomas. Their sole album, Da Family, was released in 1998 and produced a minor hit called “Sinful,” which hit No. 66 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 18 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart that same year.
Though Cosmic Slop Shop didn’t last long, Big Lurch was still interested in pursuing a rap career in earnest. So, he settled in Los Angeles and began working with a variety of artists, like Mac Dre, Tone Capone, and E-40.
But though he was on the verge of superstardom, fame still proved elusive for the Texas native. And soon, a car accident kicked off a series of events that would end in tragedy.
The Grisly Murder Of Tynisha Ysais
In 2000, Big Lurch was driving home from his 24th birthday celebration when he was rear-ended by a drunk driver. He suffered catastrophic injuries, including a broken neck, as reported by Mirror.
To alleviate the pain, he was prescribed a myriad of medications, but none proved as effective as PCP. However, the drug also had an additional, perhaps unwanted, effect: vivid hallucinations, which resulted in increasingly gruesome lyrical content.
“It made the dreams wild; Silence of the Lambs, Chianti and fava beans, big bouncing grills, and big bouncing a—es,” said iHeartRadio host Jake Brennan. “He stayed high for weeks, not eating, getting more and more delusional, until the fateful day he thought the devil was inside his roommate’s stomach.”
On April 19, 2002, Big Lurch met up with his roommate to smoke PCP. According to the rapper, though, that’s the last clear memory he has of the night’s events.
“We started smoking the PCP and they just kept feeding it to me, and feeding it to me,” he said in the documentary Rhyme & Punishment. “The next thing I remember is I woke up in jail with a murder.”
Eyewitness testimony, however, revealed that the rapper had reportedly told everyone to leave the house except 21-year-old Tynisha Ysais, his roommate’s girlfriend. Once Ysais and Big Lurch were alone, the rapper attacked her. He brutally beat her before plunging a knife into her heart, killing her.
But he wasn’t done yet.
The Gruesome Crimes Of Big Lurch
Big Lurch committing the murder was bad enough. But he then took it another step further by ripping open Ysais’ chest, pulling out her right lung, and eating it. Ysais’ autopsy also later revealed teeth marks on her face and lungs.
When the police finally caught up with the rapper, he was running down the street naked and covered in blood. He was also barking like a dog and staring at the sky. A medical examination later concluded that Big Lurch had flesh and blood in his stomach that didn’t belong to him.
In a 2016 interview with VLAD TV, however, the rapper disputed the facts of the case.
Big Lurch accused his lawyer, Milton Grimes — best known for defending Rodney King — of fabricating the story due to opposing gang ties the two men had, and he suggested that a particularly hungry pitbull was the true culprit behind Ysais’ death.
The jury, however, didn’t buy it. In June 2003, Big Lurch was found guilty of first-degree murder, torture, and aggravated mayhem after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
His debut solo album, It’s All Bad, was released by his record label, Black Market Records, without his permission soon after he was imprisoned. The lyrics of his song “I Did It To You!” serve as a macabre foreshadowing of his grisly crimes:
“Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and all of your friends, I’m finsta school ya, ’cause murder’s a hobby,” he raps. “I’m like a vampire… fresh meat, I can’t pass it.”
Ysais’ mother, Carolyn Stinson, later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Black Market Records, alleging that they’d provided the rapper with drugs “to encourage [him] to act out in an extreme violent manner so as to make him more marketable as a ‘gangsta rap’ artist.”
Regardless of the truth behind Big Lurch’s violent actions, his story remains one of the most gruesome in hip-hop history.
Now that you’ve read about Big Lurch, learn about the history of “Rapper’s Delight,” that song that forever changed the way we listen to music. Then, go inside the murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, which remain two of rap’s biggest unsolved homicides to this day.