Rarely is a group of performers subject to such vicious undeserved attacks and venomous aggression from critics and hecklers as Albuquerque, NM foursome Brokencyde have been. These longtime friends since childhood, who go by the monikers Se7en, Mikl, PhatJ, and Antz, are much more an example of what hard work, tenacity, and dogged determination can bring you in life. To simply write them off as trite the way some critics harshly have, is to completely miss the point of how the absolute will to win can make it possible to achieve goals that 99.9% of society can only dream of. People may mock Brokencyde, say they despise them, or not admit to being a fan, but at the end of the day a lot of these same people are buying what they’re delivering. Why? Because their music is fun and entertaining, and that’s what people crave.
It’s ironic that society’s obsession with celebrity culture (Paris Hilton, Britney Spears), “reality” television (Jersey Shore, The Hills), fast food, and everything deemed “bad for us”, don’t seem to be under the same microscopic scrutiny as these young non-financed entrepreneurial artists pursuing their version of the American dream. Variety and diversity is what makes the world interesting, and every musical diet should have its share of “Guilty Pleasure”, which is why Brokencyde have are serving up a crunk smorgasbord with the release of their new album of the same name on November 8th, 2011. The physical CD will be available exclusively at Hot Topic stores, with the downloadable version available through all of the major digital outlets.
Brokencyde’s rise from the streets of Albuquerque, NM to mainstream headline-maker can be credited to the group’s aggressive viral presence. After releasing a couple of basement recordings, Brokencyde began a barrage of online guerilla-style promotional tactics that flooded their online social networks with fans who were racking up more than 100,000+ plays a day. From there, the group released their debut music video for “Freaxxx,” which quickly became an online phenomenon reaching over 5 million views, easily becoming one of the year’s most talked about viral video clips. Since then, the group has put a stranglehold on the online world, developing an enormous fan base that helped catapult their debut album, “I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It,” to #87 on the Billboard Top 200 without the benefit of radio, television, or other traditional media outlets.
Brokencyde’s quick rise to popularity has earned them their fair share of detractors as MTVU, The LA Times, producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Scott Weiland) and comic book writer Warren Ellis all publicly aired their grievances about the group. Despite the public backlash, Brokencyde has continued selling out venues across the country on tour with the likes of Hollywood Undead, Breathe Carolina, the Millionaires, and as a part of the Vans Warped Tour.
“We’ve always been labeled a screamo band and people seem to have this idea that we’re some kind of metal band. For some reason people think we’re trying to be heavy because they hear screaming in our songs, but we’ve got way more in common with the hip-hop of guys like Lil Jon or Lil Wayne. We want our music to be the soundtrack to a party or getting a club popping, rather than inciting a mosh pit,” says Se7en. “The screaming in our music always came secondary to the beat and getting heads bobbing. We’ve never wanted to be Slayer and we’re not about to start now.”
There’s an electricity to “Guilty Pleasure” that makes it a solid hip-hop album mixed with pop sensibilities that would be held in high regard if it was released by any other artist. The ferocious aggression and guttural screams that became the trademark of Brokencyde’s early work is less prominent on the new album, and have given way to head nodding beats and brash bravado that fuel the group’s Crunk hip-hop sound. The band’s detractors will surely voice their distain, but it’s impossible not to recognize the intoxicating hip-hop swagger of tracks like “Burnin” featuring Tre Nyce, or the simply contagious pop polish of “The Party Don’t Stop.” The king of the Dirty South himself, Paul Wall (aka The People’s Champ), even gets in on the action by lending his vocals to make “Phenomenon” magnificently woozy, while the thunderous bass of “Doin’ My Thang” provides the sonic warzone that sets the stage for UnderRated from Potluck to unleash an impressive rapid fire attack.
“We’re always trying to stay one step ahead of everyone, and this album is the next evolution of our sound,” commented Mikl. “At the end of the day, the last thing we want to be is predictable and do what people expect us to do. We always want to move our sound forward to keep things fresh for us and our fans.”
“Having Paul Wall on our record is a huge honor for us. I’ve always respected the fact that Paul Wall makes music for himself and he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks,” commented Se7en. “If ‘The People’s Champ’ is not feeling the music, he’s not going to work with you. Paul Wall makes the music he wants to hear and all the haters can fuck off. That’s always been the way we’ve done things with Brokencyde.”
In a short amount of time this rag-tag bunch from Albuquerque, NM have developed a keen ability to craft banging hip-hop and seamlessly mix it with elements of pop and screamo to create a sound that is uniquely their own. With the November 8threlease of “Guilty Pleasure,” Brokencyde is ready to show the industry they’re at the top of their game.