See New Doc on Earache Rapper Alireza's Journey From Metalhead to Trap Artist | Revolver

See New Doc on Earache Rapper Alireza's Journey From Metalhead to Trap Artist

MC cut his teeth in metalcore band Louder Than Quiet and dealt with people acting like he was "an alien"

Late last year, Washington D.C. rapper Alireza dropped his hard-hitting single "Never Seen," and broke the news that he'd become the first-ever hip-hop signee of celebrated extreme-metal label Earache Records. On the surface, it seemed like an improbable fit, but as it turns out, Alireza is a longtime and diehard metalhead. The vocalist and guitarist cut his teeth in the DMV metalcore band Louder Than Quiet before becoming a solo artist, drawing on wide-ranging influences — from XXXTentacion to Bring Me the Horizon — for his debut album Endlyss, due later this year.

Today, Alireza has teamed with Revolver to premiere a new documentary, The Man Behind the Bars, which digs into the rapper's background. "There are a lot of black metalheads in the DMV," he says. "You go outside of here and everyone's acting like I'm an alien because I listen to certain music. It's wild." He looks back on Louder Than Quiet, who, he explains, wanted to be famous for more than just being an all-black metal band. According to Alireza, the group pulled inspiration from Norwegian black metal, melodic death metal and melodic post-hardcore in its efforts to forge its own sound, but, he says, the band hit a brick wall when attempting to find a record label interested in signing them: "'This is way too weird. You guys should just do R&B,'" he recalls being a typical response.

Later in the doc, Alireza demonstrates his guitar skills and talks about his transition into a solo hip-hop artist and his desire to transcend gangsta rap stereotypes. "People are trying to label me as something," he says, "and I'm like, 'Man, I don't want you labeling me as anything.'"

Alireza is set to unleash a new single "Vendetta" on digital platforms this Friday, January 11th. You can follow him on Spotify or on Apple Music to be notified when it drops.