In barely more than two years, Albuquerque "crunkcore" pioneers BrokeNCYDE have become one of the most hated bands in the world.
Look up one of their videos on YouTube, and you're guaranteed to find a raging debate in the comments section between BrokeNCYDE fans and people who think it's the worst music ever created.
Case in point:
You'll also probably notice that the video has been viewed millions of times, which begs the question: Is the old saying about any publicity being good publicity true? BrokeNCYDE certainly seem to think so. The publicity campaign for their latest album, Will Never Die, refers to it as "the most offensive record you will hear this year," and I don't think they're talking about the lyrics.
BrokeNCYDE inspires so much hatred that even daring to speak positively of the band can set off a tidal wave of vitriol. In my review of Will Never Die a couple weeks ago, I called the album a generational touchstone and compared it to Nevermind and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I was subsequently called a "scene girl," a "fucking faggot" and "possibly the worst reviewer ever."
So what is it about BrokeNCYDE that engenders such venom? Is it their combination of Auto-Tune, screamo histrionics and shout-along, ringtone rap choruses? Is it the absence of any "real" instruments in their music? Is it their pretty boy image? Their misogynist lyrics?
Whatever the hangup, no band that writes a song as awesome as "U Ain't Crunk" deserves such ridicule. If this song doesn't make you want to hit the dance floor, well, you're probably just not a very good dancer.
In an effort to get to the bottom of all the hate, Up on the Sun e-mailed some questions to the band. Here are the answers, courtesy of BrokeNCYE lead screamer Se7en.
Q&A with BrokeNCYDE's Se7en
Up On The Sun: Why exactly do you think people hate you guys so much?
Se7en: Either because they don't understand what we are doing or are just too big-headed to give our music a chance. If you don't like our music don't listen. Simple as that!!
UOTS: There has been speculation that the whole thing is just an elaborate musical prank designed to piss people off. Here's your chance to officially set the record straight. Is BrokeNCYDE a joke band?
S: Fuck no! Obviously not, because we've made it this far with our music and I've never taken what I write as a joke; its real talk!
UOTS: How did you come up with the idea to combine crunk and screamo?
S: We wanted to be different!! A lot of bands out there all sounded the same at the time. There was nothing out there like us. I've always rapped, and I just so happen to know how to scream. So why not fuse the two and create the ultimate genre?
UOTS: How has the reception been so far for Will Never Die? What do you think sets it apart from your earlier work?
S: The reception has been great! The album is more mature and has a song for everyone on it - from stoner reggae jams to raging club hits. If you don't like the entire album, you'll at least love a couple of the songs off it.
UOTS: One of the best songs on the new album is "U Ain't Crunk." As a service to our older readers, can you offer some advice on how to ensure that one is, in fact, thoroughly crunk?
S: The beat is typical crunk. The style and arrangement of the entire song is just like any other crunk song you've heard out there - only with that Brokencyde screamo twist.
UOTS: "My Gurl" seems like a bit of a departure for you guys. Do you worry that by showing your more sensitive, emotional side, you might lose some of your street cred?
S: We don't need "street cred" or care about it. We make music that we want to make and hope for our fans to like! That never seems to fail.
UOTS: What's up next for the band after this tour? Is there any chance we'll ever see an "America's Most Hated" tour, with you guys, Nickelback and ICP?
S: Dumb question...
UOTS: Here's your chance to vent: what bands out there right now do you hate and why?
S: I'm not a hater and never have been!! As an artist myself I respect every musician for what they do. Though I gotta say, I do hate country music with a passion. Just something about it that makes my dick soft.
BrokeNCYDE is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, December 1, at the Nile Theater in Mesa.