Rapper Hyro Da Hero Works With Blood Brothers, At the Drive-in Members
Rap and rock enjoyed a dubious relationship in the late ’90s. The fusion isn’t looked upon as one of the genre’s most artistic. But in 2011, Los Angeles-by-way-of-Houston rapper Hyro Da Hero is reconnecting the rap and rock dots in the most credible of ways. Ross Robinson — who has twiddled knobs for everyone from Korn to Slipknot to Glassjaw — produced six tracks on Hyro’s forthcoming debut, ‘Birth, School, Work, Death,’ with Blood Brothers drummer Mark Gajadhar. The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato, At the Drive-in‘s Paul Hinojos and Idiot Pilot‘s Daniel Anderson all worked with Hyro on the album. So the rapper’s rock cred is iron-clad.
“I’m not trying to be anything I’m not,” Hyro told Noisecreep about why his fusion of two disparate genres works. “I know what’s cool and what’s corny in the hip-hop world and the rock world. And when you mix the two, you have to make sure to give proper respect to the not-so- mainstream aspects of both worlds.”
Robinson is known for putting his charges through the ringer when in the studio, and Hyro recalled one story that was actually caught on tape — even though it wasn’t about strenuous studio gymastics. “We were rocking out during a rehearsal of a song,” Hyro said. “We were in the zone. Then all of a sudden a homeless man walks in with a guitar and mini amp and starts ripping along to the tune we were playing. It was amazing how great he was. I couldn’t hold my laughter. That’s something that doesn’t happen every day.”
Robinson also helped hook Hyro up with the artists that contributed to the album. “I told him exactly what I wanted,” said Hyro, who admits he keeps At the Drive-in’s classic ‘Relationship of Command’ on repeat. “The sound that I was looking for, he was able to create by putting the right pieces together. I told him what bands I did not want to sound like. He got a great group of guys to come in and write with me. And it was pure chemistry once we got together. You would be surprised at how quickly we made music.”
Hyro — who also lists the Clash as one of his rock ‘n’ roll favorites, along with Bad Brains and Fishbone since he loves “to see brothers being at the forefront or pioneering something new” — thinks metal fans will dig what he does, because “it’s all attitude and state of mind. From hip-hop to rock, we are all rebelling against the powers that be.
“I found a way to lock into that need and desire that hip-hop and rock listeners are yearning for. We all have a need to hear this type of combination, but we normally don’t get it the right way. It usually turns out wrong.”
He contended that he is making music with a purpose, and we’re inclined to agree. He finished, “With my album, ‘Birth, School, Work, Death,’ I’m giving it to you the way it was meant to be. From a hood/punk rock mentality.”