Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Unlocking The Truth

By Andrea Plaid

Unlocking The Truth's Malcolm Brickhouse (l) and Jarad Dawkins.
Unlocking The Truth’s Malcolm Brickhouse (l) and Jarad Dawkins.

In the midst the Paula Deen- and Miley Cyrus-leveled foolishness this week stood Unlocking The Truth, a trio of young Black guys who’ve been unleashing slaying metal chords in New York City for a minute. Though they didn’t wipe racism’s grime from the nation’s consciousness, they’re a definite salute to what Black folks have long brought to US music–which is fitting for this month, African American Music Appreciation Month (a.k.a. Black Music Month).

The Brooklyn, NY band–consisting of Malcolm Brickhouse on guitar, Jarad Dawkins on drums, and  Alec Atkins on bass–have been blowing up in the media here lately, culminating so far in an appearance on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell:

And they admit in this behind-the-music vid that people don’t expect 12-year-olds to sound like a 30-year-old (or to have been playing for seven years):

Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

But in this age of AfroPunk and Bold as Love and the F Yeah Black Rock Music Tumblr–where Jimi Hendrix is a god of rock guitarists, Living Color’s Vernon Reid is considered the elder statesman of guitarship, and Laina Dawes is the cool-ass aunt of heavy metal–the media’s fascination may be the age of these metalheads (though we’re always inundated with real and fictional stories about child prodigies and precocious kids), what the fascination needs not be is in the race of these musicians. They come from a long, rich line of Black rock musicians, from Chuck Berry to Hendrix to Ike & Tina Turner to Living Color to Body Count to Skunk Anansie to Dawes and so, so many others. And elder statesmen (and parents) understand the need to encourage youngbloods.

And, simply put, we love them here at the R!

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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  • Yulan

    Unlocking the Truth tore the house down when they played Afropunk’s Battle of the Bands, and are playing at the annual festival this year! I know I’ll be seeing them, DEATH, Vintage Trouble, Trash Talk, Danny Brown, Chuck D and more at the festival on 24th and the 25th. I don’t about you guys but I’m clearing my plans to catch all of these acts in action. Check out the rest of the lineup http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/afropunk-fest-line-up-rsvp

  • Fifty Shades Of Erin Gray

    Has anybody here heard of Vintage Trouble? i heard them on Letterman a few mints ago and was blown away.

  • Super Amanda

    Best news in weeks!

  • Kraas

    These kids are awesome. There are so many ignorant and racist people that need to realize that Metal is for everyone. I hope Unlocking the Truth keeps rocking out and goes on to make it big. nn/ >_<

  • Fifty Shades Of Erin Gray

    I’ m ashamed to say that I didn’t know about African American Music Month until now!

  • Michelle Kirkwood

    Sweet! Would have cool if I’d known some kids like this when I was around their age (some years ago) and a metal-loving teen back in the day! They’re something else—you don’t often see kids that age shred the hell out of some guitar licks! I hope they keep doing what they’re doing until they retire at age 25 and start their own record label, or something or that!

  • http://2in20.blogspot.com yes

    I saw them on Totally Biased last week and it was probably one of the most amazing television experiences I have ever had. Watching these young men of color rocking the living shit out of the studio with their heavy metal music and extraordinary talent was pretty much pure bad-assery, combined with the moshing at the end? This is what I imagine smashing white supremacy to look like. This is the America I want to live in!

  • Nikita

    Love them. Saw them and remembered fondly my love of rock for a moment. Hope that they bring it all the way back. Seriously.