Man on the Edge: Does Race Have a Sound?


by WCCB News Edge

The first thing you might notice about the up-and-coming metal band Unlocking the Truth, is that these kids are exactly that: kids.  

Malcolm Brickhouse, Alec Atkins, and Jarad Dawkins are all just 12 and 13 years old.  And they just got signed for a bonafide record deal from Sony.  The other thing you might have noticed is that they're African-American... playing heavy metal, which just isn't the norm in the industry.  Of course, there are notable exceptions like A Band Called Death" and "Living Color", but generally speaking, black kids playing metal is unique.

And anytime something is unique, it can be divisive.  We found these comments online: Michael believes, "Sony is exploiting them because of their age and race.  It's all about money."  But RJ says, "They're "the new definition of 'black metal'."  Vincent adds, "You have three black teens from Brooklyn playing metal at a sophisticated level. That's not something you come across every day."

And that has a grain of truth to it.  Just look at your radio dial.  There's a reason stations program certain music for certain audiences.  It's called marketing.  But things just seem so categorized according to color.  So our Man on the Edge, Robert Wilder, hit the streets asking: when it comes to music, does race have a sound?

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