About Hollywood Undead
It sounds strange to say that a pack of masked hooligans have a sensitive side, yet it’s precisely this quality that makes Hollywood Undead such a unique and influential mutation in the development of rap rock. Make no mistake: the Southern California group have dropped plenty of mosh-pit throwdowns and X-rated dispatches from late-night hangs ever since starting out as a loose collection of musicians posting home recordings to MySpace in the mid-’00s. But unlike many of the nu-metal and rapcore bands that came before them, Hollywood Undead developed a riff-powered aggression that rarely serves as an end in and of itself. Rather, it’s depicted as a fleeting distraction from the angst and despair of modern life. This deeply emo sentiment pops up especially in some of their most popular songs, like the hardcore punk-inspired “California Dreaming” and the 2009 single “Young”, a fatalistic evocation of American youth medicated and numb to a world that’s falling apart. Emo’s profound if subtle influence can also be heard in the act’s sonic profile, especially in those big catchy choruses rising up like phoenixes from the scorched-earth aggression of “Undead” and “Day of the Dead”, two of their calling-card anthems. Because Hollywood Undead have maintained a cult-like status throughout their career (robust sales but never chart toppers), it’s easy to underestimate their legacy. However, the mainstream popularity of artists like twenty one pilots, YUNGBLUD and Machine Gun Kelly is proof that Hollywood Undead loom large over a wide swath of younger artists creating innovative fusions of hip-hop and rock that burrow even deeper into the emotionally fragile side of 21st-century alienation.