Music / Bad Brains

Bad Brains are an American Hardcore Punk and Reggae band from Washington, D.C. All of the members of Bad Brains are devout Rastafarians, and this is referenced in some of their songs such as "I Luv I Jah." Along with Black Flag and Minor Threat, they are one of the pioneers of Hardcore Punk, and have influenced dozens of diverse musicians, such as Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Living Colour (who once covered "Sailin' On"), and Rage Against the Machine.

Pay To Trope:

  • Badass Decay: HR is a shadow of his former self on stage these days. Whereas in the earlier days, he'd be running around on stage, screaming his ass off and generally just being as punk as a man can be, now he mostly just stands still and barely puts any emotion into his performance at all.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: The entire band (who were apparently influenced by seeing Bob Marley in concert), but HR is the most notable one, thanks to Face of the Band status.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence / Never Live It Down: Their incident with MDC and Big Boys (see the YMMV section for details).
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: "Pay to Cum"
  • Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: They famously added/mixed reggae and metal influences to their albums.
  • New Sound Album: I Against I added more heavy metal and funk influences to their sound, although elements of hardcore were still present.
  • Shout-Out / Titled After the Song: They named themselves after "Bad Brain" by The Ramones.
    • "MCA Dub" is named in tribute to Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch: Yauch had been a long time fan of the band, and produced their 2007 album Build A Nation.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Especially prevalent on Bad Brains and Rock For Light, where fast and angry-sounding hardcore punk songs are occasionally broken up by a gentle, downtempo reggae track or two, such as "I Luv I Jah" or "Rally 'Round Jah Throne."
  • The Band Minus the Face: vocalist H.R. left the group for a spell in the early 90's, and the album Rise had Israel Joseph I on vocals instead. During this same period, Chuck Mosley was also a brief H.R. replacement for live performances only, while Henry Rollins sang on their cover of "Kick Out The Jams" by MC5, though that was more of a one-time guest appearance. Israel Joseph I even briefly filled in for H.R. again in 2009 for some tour dates - they had booked a tour in South America and H.R. couldn't make it.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Prevalent in "Redbone In The City". Between this and a guitar riff that's very similar to that of "Anarchy In The UK", the song was probably intended as a parody of the Sex Pistols.