Putting the rock into rap-rock, and the rap into… rap-rock.
Those of you who went to see The Blackout over the last couple of weeks only to find yourselves nodding your heads and bouncing like a pack of motherfuckers will know about Hyro Da Hero; the rest of you might already be in the know... everyone else, get ready for something new. You can talk about Hyro's stellar punk rock credentials (backing band featuring ex-members of, among others, At The Drive-In and Blood Brothers for fuck's sake) all you like but the fact remains he can write one hell of a hook - try listening to his debut 'Birth, School, Work, Death' without at least bobbing your head a bit. See? Impossible.
With that in mind, we asked him to compile a list of his Top Five hip-hop albums ever to celebrate him being Band Of The Week. Hell, we don't write about hip-hop very much on RS.tv so we might as well go for broke when we do, right?
Take it away, Mr Da Hero...
Lil Flip - 'The Leprechaun'
If you were in Houston Texas you had to have this album. I was in middle school when I first heard this CD and went nuts. He was an independent artist who took the city by storm - The Freestyle King is what he called himself and I set out to be better than that. He captured the Houston style of rapping in a mainstream way, and it set his career off. This gave me confidence in my southern slang and motivated me to rock with it. After hearing this I started rapping on my old Dell computer using Sound Recorder... I eventually upgraded after that.
Tupac - 'Makaveli: The Don Killuminati - The 7 Day Theory'
My favorite Tupac album of all time. This was the Tupac that absolutely did not give a fuck. He was stressed, pissed off and paranoid, and you can feel that emotion through every track. I had a tape player that my cousin gave me and I played this album over and over again. Emotion grabs you, and i learned that listening to him - that's what a lot of hip-hop is missing nowadays. You can hear his wisdom and it gravitated me toward reading more books and bettering myself as a young black man and artist. He was truly amazing and a great inspiration to me.
Eminem - 'The Slim Shady LP'
A shock and awe to my style of rapping at the time. His lyrics and the way he moved his words around to create stories flipped my mind. I had to step up my rapping after hearing this. Maybe it was the drugs or just his pure skill, but that man's mind was absolutely crazy, in a good way. Hearing this as a young black youth I couldnt relate to some of the things he spoke of but i could definitely relate to the attitude, because I don't give a fuck either.
Dead Prez - 'Lets Get Free'
Some of the deepest knowledge I've heard on record. The amazing single 'Hip Hop' drew me to the album from its lyrics that were telling things exactly how it is. The intro speech to the album made so much sense that I replayed it over and over. Dead Prez spit a very great message about uplifting ourselves and being ready to take action [and] going against authority. It's incredible to hear such great lyrics along with bouncing beats.
Paul Wall & Chamillionaire - 'Get Ya Mind Correct'
Another Houston classic. These two were from the north side of Houston and started making people take notice of punchlines. I was very proud to show people who they were cause both of them dropped some of the sickest mixtapes in Houston. I was at least 16 or 17 playing this in my ride on a daily basis. They talked about cars and clothes and the Houston lifestyle, but they did it in such an articulate manner that it automatically grabbed your attention. This album was the one I was waiting for. And it lived up to the hype.