broadsideblog

“I know a lot of people doubt me. I don’t listen to those people”

In art, behavior, children, culture, entertainment, life, men, music, news, parenting, urban life, US, work on July 30, 2013 at 1:54 am

By Caitlin Kelly

I love these guys!

Have you heard (of) them?

Check ‘em out — sixth-grade boys from Brooklyn, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins and Alec Atkins who play heavy metal. Their band is Unlocking the Truth and they’ve already played two of Manhattan’s toughest crowds — Times Square and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

English: The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New Yor...

English: The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They’ve been teased and bullied for their funky hair and black nail polish, but there’s no denying their talent, chutzpah and quiet confidence.

They met in kindergarten and have been playing music together since. When they played Times Square — for 10 hours at a time! — they’d pull in $1,600.

That’s $160/hour or more than $50/hour per musician. Not bad for mid-career or fresh college grads.

Pretty damn awesome for sixth-graders, I’d say.

But what I most admire is their belief in themselves and their willingness to put it out there, literally, before strangers with no vested interest in cooing at them or praising them for…breathing.

I see too many kids spoiled rotten, like the *&#@*)_$ eight-year-old girl who decided to change her socks and shoes three times (?!) last week beside me, in an expensive Midtown restaurant. Her extended foot practically hit my plate.

Her mother did nothing, said nothing.

Kids that like make me want to throw furniture.

Kids like this make me want to cheer.

English: Broadway show billboards at the corne...

English: Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th Avenue and West 47th Street in Times Square in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From PRI’s Studio 360:

Brickhouse and Dawkins have been playing music together since kindergarten. Although hip-hop is the dominant music at school and in the neighborhood, they come to metal honestly. “My dad used to take us to watch wrestling shows and we used to watch animated music videos,”

Brickhouse tells Kurt. “The background music was heavy metal. I was surrounded by heavy metal.” Their originals have lyrics (about “drugs, and relationships, and stuff — and being free”), but no one in the band will sing them.

The trio’s debut EP will be released later this summer and young as they are, the members see a long future in rock. Brickhouse says he’ll be banging out vicious licks “until I die”, while Dawkins is more pragmatic; “I’ll retire at about 70 years old.”

Here’s a video of them and story from The Huffington Post.

  1. beautiful and rare in ones so young. i’m guessing they have good adult models in their world -

  2. These kids will go far. A refreshing story in the midst of all the bad news around.

  3. Makes me want to stick to what I do best and what I want to achieve in life despite what others say (and they say writing is not or cannot be a profession. For the record, I write non-fiction, technology news and analysis). I posted this Facebook update saying that I’m free to take on new writing jobs (intending for editors who are on my list), and someone I know commented saying “It’s time to learn something professional,” which truly hurt my feeling and my dream of becoming a tech writer for big publishing media in the future.

    His comment was liked by some 10 people.

    • Ignore the haters. Do what you do best — and keep getting better at it. Years ago, when I was determined to sell my first non-fiction book and 19 (!) publishers had rejected it, I visited old friends in Toronto (which I left in 1986.) Two of them, meaning well, said “But you don’t expect to sell it, do you?” Of course, I did — and I did. After nine more rejections. It was termed “ground-breaking and invaluable” by reviewers.

      Do what you want to do and ignore everyone who is nasty and doubting. If you have the talent, it will happen.

  4. That IS pretty damn awesome! And good on them. Impressive.

  5. This is great! Let’s hope shows like American Idol don’t kill off the ambition these boys have

    • I agree.

      One reason this resonated for me was that I took to a street corner — at 12 — to sell some of the things I was then making by hand. It is a life-changing experience to have total strangers on a street corner react to your talent and ambition so positively at a young age. It is very affirming.

  6. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Caitlin. I’m a huge metal fan, and I know it’s rare for African American kids to get into this sort of music. When their EP comes out, I want it!

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