By Andrea Plaid
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):
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!