It is unlikely you’re going to find a hip-hop album quite like the one Hyro Da Hero has just released in 2012. Birth, School, Work, Death is an amalgamation of rap and rock like no other that’s come before. Produced by the godfather of nu-metal himself, Ross Robinson, Hyro Da Hero’s debut is anything but derivative.

While Hyro Da Hero is an entity in his own right, Hyro Da Hero: The Band is as much a force to be reckoned with on Birth, School, Work, Death. Featuring members of At The Drive-In, Sparta, The Mars Volta, Idiot Pilot, and Blood Brothers, the band has the muscle to back up such a powerful performer in Hyro Da Hero (Especially on “Section 8”).

Coming out of the gates strong on “Grudge”, Hyro Da Hero is at times reminiscent of Hed PE’s Jared Gomes and Darwin’s Waiting Room’s resident emcee Grimm vocally while his lyrical prowess is on par with Nas or Zack De La Rocha. “The Worlds Stage” by contrast is a little more laid back as the band lays down a solid groove underneath Hyro’s uber sing-song chorus. “We Still Popular” sets the bar higher still as the band channels Sparta with the riffage while the beats below are most definitely hip-hop. Speaking of hip-hop, nothing stands out as much as “Man In My City” so much so that if Rick Ross popped up as a guest, it wouldn’t come as a shock.

Later on, there’s the RATM-inspired “Sleeping Giants” to bring out the rabble rousers while “Section 8” creates a whole new sub genre called “punk rap”. By the time “System Overload” closes out Birth, School, Work, Death with some electro-fueled rage, Hyro Da Hero’s will have made quite an impression.

Birth, School, Work, Death  is out now. Get yours here.

Grade: A



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