M.O.P. meets Morrissey: BLKHRTS mash-out at Low End Theory

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Denver’s BLKHRTS describe themselves as M.O.P. meets Morrissey. A strong claim, but the union of the Mash Out Posse and Mr. Meat Is Murder does make for something noteworthy. Imagine the gladioluses that fans would drop at Morrissey’s feet, only now getting bashed by lead pipes of M.O.P. Picture a trio of vowel-averse velociraptors rapping as if the phrase ‘he who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain being a man’ was tattoed on their foreheads.

Member King Foe described them as ‘a breath that you take the moment after the bungee cord is extended to its fullest extent jumping into the Grand Canyon.’ The words and beats hit like shrapnel, with samples from ‘Eraserhead,’ Matthew Dear and Joy Division’s first incarnation, Warsaw.

They merge the crowbar rap of Brownsville with a disjointed post-Def Jux aesthetic. Their voices sound as if they’ve been slit with scythes. Denver doesn’t have a subway, but somehow their songs rattle with the shuddering velocity of a train car going off the rails and killing dozens. It is rap as hard-core punk music that never forgets it’s hip-hop.

Topic include sex, drugs, money and death, nightmares, demons and hearts pumping like the fury of angry slaves. At a time when the rap world is monomaniacally fixated on the throne, BLKHRTS play like a poisonous agent assassinating the tired tropes of fancy watches, foreign cars and esoteric concerns. After all, their debut EP, this year’s ‘BLK S BTFL,’ examines a subtext similar to that of Jay-Z and Kanye’s recent would-be opus: racial strife, temptation and gods and men. It’s rap by mad villains, rawer than the fish that richer rappers feast on. Underground not because of a willfully obtuse aesthetic, but for its sense of subversion.


Tonight, BLKHRTS play the Low End Theory -- the ideal outlet for their helter-skelter assault. I asked BLKHRT Yonnas what their plans were for the rest of the year. He wrote a mini-essay, which might be a little overwhelming, but will give readers a sense of the man’s work ethic. Below the jump, his answer and an MP3 from one of most exhilarating and asphyxiating groups extant.

From the desk of BLKHRT Yonnas: ‘We are working on a series of solo six track EPs based on ‘SX,DRGS,VLNC,MNY, DTH.’ Starting with the release of my ‘Sextape’ on November 11th 2011 followed by King F.O.E’s ‘JUNKIE’ 2-12-12’ and Karma The Voice’s as of yet untitled joint that will come out 6-6-12 and followed by our first full length tentatively entitled ‘The Black Experience’ on 12-12-12. Each project entails a photography art aspect where we will each individually take a series of shots with that girl in the ‘SX,DRGS,VLNC,MNY,DTH.’ image sitting with us named Angel. My series will be me having sex with her, F.O.E’s will be him doing drugs with her, and Karma’s will him committing acts of violence towards her. Crazy, I know, but its art, and its what we wanna do... The release parties will be photo art exhibits with a unique performance art aspect as well, in that, for instance, the Sextape release will have one of the most beautiful girls I know in a glass box on a giant podium in the center of the room who gradually removes clothing items during the set. For Junkie’s release, F.O.E will be in the glass box consuming a host of drugs and performing his music, and for Karma’s release we are toying with either putting Angel in the box with a plethora of weapons to play with. The idea is twofold, on one hand, each of these rooms will be environments that capture the aesthetics of the music, to enhance the listening experience and secondly, I see BLKHRTS as an art collective that will express itself in many more ways than just music. We also intend to release group singles unrelated to the individual project, like the ‘SX,DRGS,VLNC,MNY,DTH.’ track, that also explicitly deal with these subjects but generally in a more story-telling fashion, with characters and narratives and the whole nine. Our next one is called TH KLL CLCK (the kill clock). It’s based on an episode of ‘The Shield’ I saw once, where a :atino gang recruit has to kill four black people before 12:00 to get put on, but also to save his imprisoned father’s life, because the gang leaders are in prison with said father, and will kill him if the goal isn’t achieved. Our version is that the young recruit has to kill five white people to join, which again, is crazy, but it’s a story, entirely fictional, and we are definitely not encouraging hate crimes, but the dramatic tension within the very notion definitely incurs strong reactions from people, and that to me, is paramount. It also is about sadism and hedonism in that the young recruit is joined by a girl who is impressed by evil and violence sort of like a modern day Juliet from the Marquis de Sade book ‘Juliet’. So he brings her along and after every killing, they have crazy passionate sex immediately after, sometimes right next to the freshly deceased corpse. We’re looking at an October release for that.’


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SX,DRGS,VLNC,MNY,DTH.’ by Yonnas Abraham

-- Jeff Weiss