Dälek's Will Brooks: 5 Great Hip-Hop Albums for Metalheads | Revolver

Dälek's Will Brooks: 5 Great Hip-Hop Albums for Metalheads

Heavy and noisy listening off the beaten path
dalek 2022 PROMO michael patras, Michael Patras
photograph by Michael Patras

For over 20 years and even more albums, EPs, singles and collabs, New Jersey's Dälek have been blasting out some of darkest, heaviest industrial-scarred hip-hop to damage speakers and eardrums alike. Their new album, Precipice (due out April 29 via Mike Patton's Ipecac label), features guitar and synth work from none other than TOOL's Adam Jones, whose band previously enlisted Dälek to open for them on tour. With such a resume, who better than the duo's Will Brooks, a.k.a. MC Dälek, to ask for a list of metal-centric hip-hop albums?

"This list turned out harder to compile than I thought it would be," Brooks tells us, having accepted the assignment. "Do I mention Gravediggaz 6 Feet Deep and their tongue-in-cheek horrorcore? I figured it would be too easy to mention Public Enemy It Takes A Nation of Millions, with Kerry King's guitar on 'She Watches Channel Zero,' or Boogie Down Production's Criminal Minded sampling AC/DC's 'Back in Black' on the classic 'Dope Beat.' I even felt telling you to listen to Death Grips — Ex Military was too on the nose. It's 2022 ... metalheads have diverse taste. I know a lot of you are probably up on most, if not all, of those releases already. I thought I'd go a different route and present five great hip-hop albums that are noisy and heavy, and that might have — possibly? — slipped under the radar. I put them in chronological order, because figuring out which I like most seemed a lot like homework."

New Kingdom - Paradise Don't Come Cheap

New Kingdom were very much ahead of their time. I wasn't put onto them till much later, and am now lucky enough to know and consider their co-producer Scott Harding a brother. Listening to both their debut release, 1993's Heavy Load, and this one now just blows my mind. The choice and use of samples, cuts and drums results in a heavy, hazy, trippy vibe that is so singular and unique. Nosaj and Sebastian drop ILL abstract rhymes that perfectly fit the production.

Gonjasufi - MU.ZZ.LE

This brother is more of a shaman than he is an MC. He will transport you on this release, if you let him. There is such an uneasy feel throughout that I just can't get enough of, and the drums on "Nikels and Dimes" are just magnificent. 

B L A C K I E - Imagine Yourself in a Free and Natural World

B L A C K I E's whole discography is wild! This one just happens to be my favorite. The use of distorted horns just speaks to me, as does the meditative nature and power of the vocals on this three-song album. Two of the tracks are 16-minutes-plus. Please take the time to listen to it all in one sitting. It's a journey, and the type of art that deserves the time it takes to digest.

Moor Mother - Fetish Bones

Fans of Justin Broadrick may recognize Moor Mother from her work on ZONAL, but I want to go back to her debut album. Moor Mother is a poet! Nah, fuck that ... she is THE poet. At times her words are heavier than the music. If that's even possible. The rawness of this release, top to bottom, is awe-inspiring.

Moodie Black - Sana Sana

I had the pleasure of touring with Moodie Black a few years back. Their live show was always on point. This new album, Sana Sana, really has them coming into their own. Dope textures, beats, flows and lyrics. So noisy and raw and yet so musical, beautifully crafted and sculpted. Another one I recommend listening to as a whole. It's a powerful experience.