Battle of the Bands

Hyro the Hero

Brooklyn
August 25, 2019 1:15 pm
In any cultural movement there are leaders and there are followers. But most importantly, there are those uniquely innovative provocateurs that take the familiar, turn it upside down, and burn it with new creative fire.

Like a b-boy mad scientist smashing the windows of the mainstream with a Molotov cocktail of passion and inspiration, Hyro The Hero takes the fusion of rap and rock and resurrects it. His combustible concoction is one part The Clash, one part Bad Brains, and several doses of reverence for hip-hop relevance. It’s the most punk rock rap and the most hip-hop punk.

The mash-up of rock and rap was pioneered by groups like Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, then fashioned into groundbreaking socio-political firebombs by Rage Against The Machine, before it was co-opted, watered down, and worn out by a slew of no-talent copycats with nothing to say.

Hyro was embraced early on by Deftones, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Vans Warped Tour alike, earning accolades in tastemaker publications like Kerrang! and airplay on BBC Radio 1, becoming the first artist to ever play three stages at Download Festival UK in the same year, and inspiring a new generation of heavy music enthusiasts and hip-hop heads in equal measure.

On brand new tracks like “Bullet,” “We Ain’t Afraid,” “Never Back Down,” and “Devil in Disguise,” from the long-awaited full-length follow-up to his 2011 debut album, Hyro puts forth his true lyrical credibility and hip-hop urgency on top of aggressive, uplifting, and powerfully driven punk n’ roll.

Hyro hails from the same Southern stomping grounds as legends, instantly identifiable rhyme slingers, and modern trailblazers like Paul Wall, Lacrae and streetwise icon Scarface. He earned his stripes on the streets of Houston, dropping his first mixtape on Christmas Eve 2007 before heading to California on a quest to realize his artistic ambitions to the fullest extent.

His Gangsta Rock, Rock & Roll Gangsta, and Belo Horizonte mixtapes paved the way for what would be a barnstorming debut album that shook the world through social media transmissions, evocative live performances, and a mountain of praise from outlets like Rock Sound, AltPress, Metal Hammer, and Kerrang!, who nominated him as Best International Newcomer. Birth, School, Work, Death was produced by nü-metal co-creator Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, Glassjaw), with instrumental contributions from members of frequent Robinson collaborators At The Drive-In and The Blood Brothers.

Kerrang! hailed Hyro as a “Houston-born hip-hop prodigy” who “mixes intelligent rhymes with a blistering rock soundtrack.” Revolver hyped the sophistication of Hyro’s hip-hop side while likening some of the album’s moments to the best of Eminem, Rage Against The Machine, and Deftones.

Hyro supported the album with relentless tours and shows with Deftones, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, 3OH!3, Wu-Tang Clan, Soundwave Festival (Australia), Summer Sonic Festival (Japan), Download (UK), and the Vans Warped Tour.

The years since his first album and his brand new follow-up, his first since signing with Sony Music, were filled with experimentation, renewed focus, and multiple collaborations with rock guitarists, producers, and friends, fine-tuning and streamlining his strongest assets for a new album worthy of the hype of Birth, School, Work, Death and poised to upset the applecart once again. Hyro has no love for the lifeless safety of much of modern rap and rock. He’s insistent that the world’s music fans simply deserve better.

His lyrical missives target the vacuous materialism of the rap world’s biggest pretenders with precision wordplay and heady flows, cutting through the tired narcissism of many hit makers with a celebration of the brash confidence that makes hip-hop so vibrant. Hyro conjures the blood, sweat, and tears of classic punk together with the ambition of arena rock.

Those who underestimate the power of Hyro The Hero do so at their peril.