Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gym Class Heroes: Punk vs. Hip-Hop

Gym Class Heroes is one of the best new hip-hop acts, but most hip-hop fans probably have no idea.

That’s because this Geneva, NY-based band is signed to Fueled By Ramen, a punk music label home to such big acts as Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco.

Gym Class Heroes features rapper Travis McCoy and a backing-band, which is rare in hip-hop outside of The Roots. McCoy raps about everyday life occurrences like love and partying, with a heavy focus on the high school and college years.

What’s surprising though is the band’s warm embrace from the punk scene (mostly due to their affiliations with their labelmates) and general ignorance from the hip-hop scene. This is probably due to Fueled By Raman having no experience marketing to the hip-hop crowd, but it also seems like Gym Class Heroes has made it a point to not associate with hip-hop culture, which is appalling.

They have spent most of their major touring with punk bands (they are touring with All-American Rejects now), and their music is played on rock radio stations but not on hip-hop stations. This is what initially turned me off from them, but I eventually warmed up to their music. It still bothers me that they are ignoring the hip-hop scene, though.

Several of their songs can be heard on their MySpace page, including their current single, “The Queen and I.”


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