Surviving and Thriving at Ho99o9
The band cites DMX and Rob Zombie as their earliest influences. Does that make sense to you? Basically, I can explain that what you get is somewhere between rap, a Marilyn Manson mini-dress, sweat/blood, and potentially burst eardrums.
Though the group incorporates strains of hip-hop, they are creating their own form of genre-abstraction rejecting any pure definition. It is neither absolute in the 'hardcore' of Black Flag, nor completely reminiscent of a group like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Ho99o9 openly claim this to be an act of subversive protest art, and deliver black radicalism in a new and appropriately alternative form from what we might immediately expect— in both their noise and stage presence. It is neither a rejection of the community they emerged from, predominantly immersed with hip-hop, and borrows aspects of this sound and culture, re-weaving in the unencumbered and beloved fragments of traditional 'punk'; think Bad Brains or Death Grips.
Ho99o9 has been around for a while, but is evermore present right now with the launch of a new collaboration with BrandBlack, as well as the current 2017 tour, which, at their SXSW debut, was forcibly shut down almost immediately due to an 'out-of-control' crowd reaction. They did not disappoint in following through with any of this raucous behavior at Brooklyn Bazaar; seconds after their crude flag was hung behind the drumset, it felt as though I was the only audience member unaware that it was time to throw punches and begin elbowing.
There was nudity, fierce screaming, and puddles forming of perspiration by the time the show ended. Surprisingly, a cathartic blast of a night.