Ghetto Metal, huh?  Wow.  At the very least, this challenges the assertion–backed up largely by much of Maureen Mahon’s scholarly work–that Black rock has resided in the province of the Black middle class.  Like Jay-Z gives props to Dre on "The Watcher", these guys–DMX, M-1 of Dead Prez, and Bazaar Royale–give props to the Black Rock Coalition but, I suspect, that’s where it may stop.  As M-1 says in his PSA: "It’s a whole ‘nother interpretation when it’s been on crack.  It’s a whole ‘nother interpretation when it’s been in prison all its life."  Fair enough.  Take a look at M-1’s PSA:

Now, check out Mr. Man’s

There are also PSAs from Bazaar RoyaleDJ Mark Ronson and NYOIL.

Of course, there’s a whole site devoted to this, which you can get to here.

Good news is that the idea of rock being something that Black people can own seems to have finally made its way into the ‘hood.  The downside is that they may be painting themselves into the same corner as hip hop.  I wonder if the rock sound is just being used as another way to highlight aggression and the frustration of that exists in the nation’s inner cities.  That’s fine, but I would hope that these Ghetto Metal-headz reach out to the larger Black rock and Afropunk communities, which could at least help shape a broader discussion of, and engagement with, political issues in the African American community.  It could be the start of a youth movement that crosses and galvanizes across socio-economic lines. 

That’s exciting.

Major hat tip to Clyde Smith for the heads-up.

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  • Infamous

    Interesting. Seems like a marketing rubric so far, however. Note the “.biz” in the URL…

    Industry vets trying to stage a late-game comeback or genuine movement?

    Wait and see…

  • Michael:

    Thanks for sending the link. I think the big takeaway is that, call it what you will–Afro-Punk, Black rock–it’s about a state of mind. That’s what we need to get to. I also love the quote from Chaka about the fact that there’s a lot of blues in punk.

  • Infamous:

    I hear you. But, I’m trying not to be cynical or defensive here, even though I can see the many questions that arise once you see that DMX is involved. But maybe this becomes a way to really engage folks that have not previously considered rock. And by that, I mean that they’ll begin to take up the invitation that rock offers: true creative freedom. At the end of the day, it’s all good. After all, no matter what they use or how they express themselves, the output will be filtered through an African American aesthetic and sensibility.

    So, yeah, let’s keep an eye on this.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Helen L. Simmons (Event Coordinator-GHETTO METAL)

    Just an inside note:
    Although M-1 and DMX are affiliated with Ghetto Metal the movement itself was actually STARTED by BAZAAR ROYALE. His eclectic mix of rock, funk, and hip hop was always his style. Bazaar decided that an outlet was needed for himself and others just like him. M-1 supported Bazaar in this movement. DMX’s involvement springs from the fact that Bazaar Royale is the first artist AND first hip hop rock artist signed to DMX’s Bloodline Records label. Therefore there’s a natural support for Bazaar from DMX not to mention this is in turn has opened DMX up even more creatively (check him and Bazaar on tour this summer). Don’t get it twisted> IT IS A MOVEMENT and BAZAAR ROYALE started it not to make a comeback, not to cooly feed off of the masses but because he believes in the power of his voice and the voice of hip hop rockers all over. By the way, so what .biz is in the url? You should HOPE more artists become BETTER business folk. You can’t feed your family guitar strings and amplifiers for dinner…..

  • Tamara Ephraim

    I would like to know what I can do to be apart of this movement! I am 32 and I have been listening to metal pop punk classic rock alternative every since I can remember and I have suffered royally to be who I am no thanks to blacks who have outcasted and dogged me my whole life! On top of that
    I live in mississippi amongest these closed mined negroes who hate you if you are different from them.I am so ready I have waited for something like this my entire life.I am looking for my people.True ghetto people don’t deserve ghettometal because they are to closed- minded to understand it anyways.