Parody or Pabulum
Brokencyde’s best-of is the worst
Many music fans will recognize the title of this Brokencyde album, The Best of BC 13, as an oxymoron. Their best is still shit, and I suspect they know it. One of several negative entries on urbandictionary.com defines “Brokencyde” as “the equivalent of having the penis of Satan violently shoved into your ear.” There are two ways to approach the beyond-derivative waste of time that is Brokencyde. The first is to assume these four dudes—who look like refugees from “Jackass” and fit the lucrative contemporary stereotype of bad boys—are manufacturing lowest common denominator crunk music with a deep sense of irony. The cheesy, overdone Casio and 808 bass beats seem to indicate a culturally cognizant sense of humor. The genre-specific screamed vocals are so unappealing they can’t be serious. More evidence the act is pandering to its audience is found in every video on the included DVD, The Best of BC 13 Music Videos. Second-tier luxury cars are angle-parked behind bored-looking chicks unenthusiastically grinding while MCs chugging 40-ounces shriek horrible lyrics. Is Brokencyde just playing the part?
On the other hand, they could be churning this shit out with a straight face. This mode of understanding would position Brokencyde as less legitimate, white boy wannabe Lil Jons (the undisputed king of crunk). The fact that every song’s lyrics contain some permutation of “Let’s get drunk tonight” may indicate both an attempt to stick within the themes of their chosen genre and a desperate lack of imagination. Even if they’re restricted to rhyming about getting fucked up and fucked, there’s a lot more narrative territory in those two subjects. Such nuance is left untouched by what is arguably Albuquerque’s most tasteless and financially successful act.
In terms of substances, Brokencyde could expand their psychoactive range beyond booze and weed. Perhaps smoking primos rather than boring old joints? Their humdrum taste in illicit substances is a minor issue when compared with their depictions of sexuality. In songs like “Sex Toys” and “Scene Girlz,” Brokencyde go on and on about girls making their “pee-pees” hard, then instruct said girls to “put [their] putties in the cab and shake it up,” yet they spend almost no time describing actual exploits. In “Freaxxx,” one MC actually admits they “don't waste their time with lesbians.” Yawn.
And not once does Brokencyde rhyme about getting busted. Surely they’ve had some run-ins with the po-po. If these guys are as crunked-up as they portray, they could regale us with more exciting tales of group sex, master blasters, actual prostitutes and serious legal troubles.
If this is for real, it sucks. If it’s a joke, it still sucks. It’s entirely possible that Brokencyde themselves posted the aforementioned entry on Urban Dictionary, which would mean they realize how bad they are but simply don’t care.
Bottom line: If there was a Forbes 500 list of Albuquerque bands, Brokencyde might well be near the top, and maybe that's the point. Just like the band—and 100 percent of assholes—proclaim, it’s all about “cash money, bitche$.”
Jill Cohn • indie, singer-