Review Summary: Take another hit and let the haters hit
When BrokeNCYDE first appeared on the scene in 2006, they were a subversive, profane group that drew criticism from pretty much all of America. Their “crunk-core” label represented uninspired tweenage rebellion simply because they were louder and cruder than any other group. Fast forward four years and lesbianism and stripping are the key to a radio hit. As a result, BrokeNCYDE have had to change gears and have released, essentially, a good pop album.
People may not agree with calling BrokeNCYDE pop but a change in mainstream sound has made them sound generic. Their heavily autotuned vocals are now commonplace and lyrics like “I could play with titties all day long,” while still awful, are a lot less rebellious than it would have been previously. Even their screams, to appeal to the scene crowd, can be heard on the radio, as A Day to Remember and Escape the Fate are now receiving airtime. While they used to be immature teens, they’ve now cut back on saucy lyrics to appeal to a larger crowd. The shift in the focus of the pop gen”re has not only helped this album sound better but has also allowed BrokeNCYDE to grow as a band.
Not only have the lyrics seen growth and maturity, Se7en’s vocals and Antz’s beats have also seen marked improvement. Se7en used to be the whipping boy of BrokeNCYDe. His lyrics were abysmal, his screams grating and his rap devoid of flow. On Will Never Die, Se7en’s screams still lack proper technique but are actually listenable. The breakdown on “Always Go Hard” features some of his best work yet. This breakdown also highlights Phat J’s synthesizers, which have a seizure-like quality that could work only in this breakdown. Even Se7en’s rap has shown good growth since I’m Not A Fan… with “High Timez” being a highlight. Antz’s reggae inspired beat is slow and paced perfectly for the theme- smoking weed. This is when Se7en sounds his most comfortable spitting as he isn’t good enough to handle a fast beat. Because rap isn’t the focus of the album, this serves as a good change of pace in the middle of the record and Daddy X’s cameo is much appreciated. Overall, Antz shows good variety with is beats and never takes the spotlight off of the vocalists.
The weak link of the group is Mikl. Mikl does very little to help the album, his lone contributions are the choruses of certain songs. The choruses are straight out of a 3OH!3 song, Dis Iz a Rager Dude is one of the few tracks that actually recalls old BrokeNCYDE as a direct result of the chorus. However, his use of autotune is part of what gives this album a pop feel, so his work is appreciated, albeit less so than Se7en.
Overall, BrokeNCYDE is no longer the worst thing in music. Their growth over the course of a year is remarkable, especially considering that only a year ago they were making the much maligned video for their song “Freaxxx”. While some songs still recall old BrokeNCYDE- “Kama Sutra” in particular- there is a distinct departure from their former offensively raunchy lyrics. The screams that used to be overly aggressive and in-your-face have now chilled and have improved technically. This album could well be the renaissance of the group.
Recommended Tracks- High Timez, Always Go Hard, Watcha Want