BrokeNCYDE - 0 to BrokeNCYDE (Review)

Martin_Canine
BROKENCYDE
0 to BrokeNCYDE
★★★☆☆

It’s been 10 years since the BC13 EP dropped and filled music lovers with a sheer vile extent of hate. We’re not talking about negative reviews, we’re not talking about making fun of their overall presence, we’re talking about publically wishing them to die a slow death of cancer and petitions dedicated to the downfall of their career. What did they do to get such large amounts of despise? Did they glorify racial killings? Did they sympathize with the Third Reich? Did they sell heroin to five year olds? Nope. Their crime is far worse: songs about drinking and having sex. And what a horrible crime that is. At least if you are a librarian in children’s cartoons. Basically, BrokeNCYDE were music’s answer to Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, two filmmakers that got hateful death threats (and not from some dumb kids that don’t know it better, from grown ups who are capable of writing insightful texts) simply for having immature humor and thinking pop culture references are funny.

The music landscape has changed since then. In times where Lil Pump and Rae Sremmurd are commercially and critically acceptable, you just have to give BrokeNCYDE credit for having done it before anyone else did. That’s not as much a diss to Pump as me showing solidarity and sympathy with the late 2000s crunkcore/scene group. They aren’t the worst band ever, and never were. They essentially made Dirty South hip hop, just that they added a bunch of really loud and deranged screams, which was unusual, and yeah, wouldn’t have been necessary on most songs. Their songs weren’t especially twisted, they were party anthems (GTFOOMF! from this album, with its heavy beat and creepy music box sample makes much better use of the screamo). But they had a solid flow, electrifying beats and occasionally an earworm hook. That wasn’t great, but it was entertaining and fit the mentality of the late 2000s internet culture, and that’s completely okay with me. Nothing’s wrong with stupid humor and a bit of party and intercourse.

Much like with Blood on the Dance Floor and Breathe Carolina, I kept track of their musical output long after they dropped out of the public eye - I am always interested in how such artists develop when nobody is paying attention anymore. Some are freed of the pressure of having to deliver music that appeals to their target group, others feel completely lost and without a direction. Breathe Carolina were always the most professional ones, and stayed just that, with the difference they made a change in style, from the crunkcore-emo-techno hybrid towards a smoother EDM style of an underground production team. Blood on the Dance Floor came a really long way, and probably had the biggest evolution out of them all, coming from bewildering karaoke freestyle songs like I <3 Hello Kitty to emotive, thought out 80s flashbacks such as From Dreams to Nightmares.

But most importantly for this review, BrokeNCYDE essentially stayed as they always were, and their style aged extremely well, to an extent that their most recent output is not as weird anymore compared to the rest of the current music scenes without adapting a new genre. Artists like XXXTentacion or Lil Xan entered the landscape and paved the way for crossovers, lo-fi aesthetics and impulsive adlibs. Now in comparison, BrokeNCYDE appear like old schoolers, and in the meantime improved to a far less homemade sounding quality. In 2018, they use screaming as a mere gimmick here and there rather than their trademark, and they also picked up distorted 808 beats and seem to be interpolating a bit of lean into their daily dose of booze - and pushed the REC button in the studio.

0 to BrokeNCYDE is a parade of bad taste, but it’s a very entertaining one. In a society that seems to not remember that there was a time when Drawn Together was considered to be the funniest thing on TV, an album like this feels like a liberation to those of us who grew up laughing about the most immoral of things without having to think twice about it. They can rap about irresponsible binge consume of questionable substances, of wild bed adventures and even of demons, all at once, and it’s the funniest thing you heard in a long time. Because they actually make it sound like fun. Se7en’s and Mik L’s deliveries are full of energy, they sound awake and ready to spend a night out that they will probably regret the next day, but hey, you only live once. They sound like guys you actually want to hang out with - plus their flow is always on point and in time with the beat.

Take for example Mueve. The instrumental is sick, and so is the vocal delivery. Unfortunately, they took the term “sick” a bit too literally when stopping the music halfway through the song for an extended vomit session, which is later repeated at the end. But actually, no, that’s not unfortunate. We need to go this deep into toilet humor territory to appreciate it again. Expect no depth. Expect not a single moment of realtalk. Expect pure excess. As this is what you get. A lot of it.

Musically, there are quite a lot of beats that have a bang. They are not smooth and drowsy as many current hip hop beats, they have hard brass, completely insane samples and a deep bass. Among the best of them are the title track, D@ Good, Certified Playaz, A*s and T*****s and GTFOOMF!. The song Wild Girl even contains a little experiment with an interesting use of semi-acapella drum kits. However, there still remains the pitch problem of their last album, All Grown Up. Traptncyde (eww… that title) is the song on which this flaw shows the most. The distant chipmunk voice in the background is completely out of key with the rest of the song, probably having been added last minute, as surprisingly the autotuned singing is harmonic to the piano motif. They have little to no sensitivity for harmony, which shows every now and then, but unfortunately never as dramatic, as the album doesn’t rely much on melody. Other albums would have been destroyed by this aspect, but this is almost entirely rapped.

0 to BrokeNCYDE is nowhere near a perfect album, but it’s good fun with a kind of humor that became too rare. Se7en and Mik L can adapt some really nice flow variations and they got a fine selection of beats to demonstrate them. Lyrically, they are absolute no brainers with little original, but at the same time the music feels completely authentic for their lifestyle. They got better at finding the right amount of screaming, which is very little, but used in the right moments. At the same time, I can’t say the choruses are still as catchy and memorable as on their first three albums, and at parts an attempt at adding singing to the songs results in disharmonious chaos. It’s still a whole lot better than All Grown Up, on which they were clumsily recreating an average, unpersonal trap album. They did a solid job with this one, and in the end, I was greatly entertained.

Comments

I’m not a big fan of the artist or album really, but amazing review as always, Martin - NightmareCinema

Thanks a lot!

I wouldn't call me a fan either, but when I see an artist that gets this amount of hate I think I need to set a statement, and put things into perspective. The album is absolutely solid, having nice beats, varied flows and a fun attitude, athough it does contain a few flaws and little that's inventive. I did enjoy it throughout, and actually wanted to give it 3 and a half stars, but if I look at it objectively, I awarded much better albums 3 and a half (e.g. Juri's "Bratans aus Favelas"). And actually, I think if they reduced the screaming on earlier records, they would never have received such hate. - Martin_Canine

I don’t believe a lot of the hate is justified either, although I still wouldn’t say I love it. - NightmareCinema

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