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Hed PE

Hed PE, also known as (hed) planet earth and stylized as (həd) p.e., is an American rap rock band from Huntington Beach, California. Formed in 1994, the band performs a style of music which they refer to as "G-punk". Their music is primarily based in a fusion of punk and hip hop, but they have also been known to incorporate heavy metal and reggae influences. After releasing three albums on Jive Records, Hed PE left the label to record independently, eventually signing with Suburban Noize Records in 2006. To date, they have released six studio albums and one live album.

History

Formation and major-label debut (1994–1999)

The band was formed by rapper Jahred Shane, also known as "M.C.U.D." (MC Underdog), and guitarist Wes Geer, who became friends amidst the Orange County hardcore punk scene. Shane and Greer recruited guitarist Chizad, bassist Mawk, drummer B.C. Vaught and DJ Product © 1969. They named the group "Hed", which stands for "higher thought". The band built a following with their energetic performances at local venues, and released the self-financed extended play, Church of Realities. Legal issues forced Hed to change their name, adding "PE", which stood for "Planet Earth".

Hed PE signed with Jive Records, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1997. In his review of the album, Allmusic's Steve Huey wrote that Hed PE "[are] rhythmically looser and funkier than many similar rap-metal bands, although comparisons to Rage Against the Machine are still apt. There are some slow and/or unfocused moments [...] but overall, its aggression will probably play well with late-'90s metal and punk fans. Due to the label's contractual terms and the disappointing sales of the album, the band found themselves unable to repay the cash advances given to them by Jive. Shane is quoted as saying "We had these romantic visions of the music industry, and we thought it would be cool to be a punk band on a rap label. So we fulfilled that dream, but it was also probably the worst thing that could have happened. [...] We've had offers from Sony and others that we can't take because we owe Jive so much money."

Broke and Blackout (2000–2004)

On June 6, 2000, Hed PE appeared on the tribute album Nativity in Black II, covering Black Sabbath's "Sabbra Cadabra". Hed PE released their second studio album, Broke on August 22, 2000. It peaked at #63 on the Billboard 200, while its first single, "Bartender", peaked at #23 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #27 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Allmusic's Jason D. Taylor wrote: "Broke is essentially (hed)pe's answer to mainstream radio appeal, finding the California quintet modernizing their sound for mass acceptance while still retaining the spark that made their debut so independently accepted. [...] Broke may have not found as much success in the competitive mainstream market as some would have liked, and even despite its distinct departure from the group's debut, it is an album that shows more vision than other rap-tinged rock albums to come out in 2000. The most negative response to the album came from critics who viewed its lyrics as misogynistic.

On October 27, 2000, Shane was arrested for possession of marijuana while the band was performing in Waterbury, Connecticut. He was released on a US$1,500 bond. In 2001, Hed PE performed on the Ozzfest tour alongside bands such as Korn, Static-X, and System of a Down. A music video for "Killing Time", the second single from Broke, was produced in promotion of the film 3000 Miles to Graceland, which featured the song on its soundtrack.

Hed PE released their third studio album, Blackout, on March 18, 2003. It peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200, while its title track peaked at #21 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #32 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Allmusic's Johnny Loftus wrote that "While it expands on melodic elements that had previously played a supporting role in the band's sound, Blackout also delivers truckloads of crushing guitar and pounding rhythm. And whether or not it is the presence of a top-line producer, (hed) pe have figured out a way to imbue their aggressive mix of heavy rock and hip-hop with some serious hooks [...] Unfortunately, Blackout ends with two of its weakest tracks. "Fallen" hovers too close to Linkin Park without offering anything unique to (hed) pe themselves, while "Revelations" is an embarrassing retread of Nine Inch Nails.

Independent releases (2005–present)

Hed PE left Jive Records in 2004, releasing their fourth studio album, Only in Amerika, on Koch Records in 2005. It peaked at #20 on the Top Independent Albums chart and at #186 on the Billboard 200. In his review of the album, Johnny Loftus wrote "Raunchy and abrasive, its thrash-hop spew takes cues from Anthrax, Korn, Dirty South, pre-acting career Ice-T, and the uncompromising Psychopathic Records collective. [...] It wants to be a confrontational megaphone in the ear of conservatives, but Jahred's torrential rhetoric is too messy and blatantly offensive to incite anything but superficial anger, and the music -- though occasionally explosive -- takes a backseat to the ranting.

In 2006, Hed PE signed with Suburban Noize Records, recording their fifth studio album, Back 2 Base X. The album was intended as a return to the basics of rock music, and did not rely as heavily on studio enhancement as previous releases. The album was released on June 6, 2006, the same day as The Best of (həd) Planet Earth, a compilation album produced by Jive Records without the band's authorization or consent. Back 2 Base X peaked at #12 on the Top Independent Albums chart, #154 on the Top Internet Albums Chart and at #154 on the Billboard 200. Allmusic's Rob Theakston wrote that "Back 2 Base X suffers from the same problems as Amerika: it tries to be conceptual in thought à la Tool and vicious in its political commentary à la Fugazi or System of a Down, but somehow falls short by sounding like an angry stoner on a soapbox. It won't win any new fans, but existing fans of (hed) pe's work won't be turning their backs away from the band in anger anytime soon, either.

On June 26, 2007, the band released their sixth studio album, Insomnia. It peaked at #16 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and at #138 on the Billboard 200. The album's lead single, "Suffa", became one of the most requested tracks at Sirius Satellite Radio's Hard Attack, while the song's music video was voted one of the Top 10 of 2007 on MTV's Headbangers Ball. Hed PE released their first live album, The D.I.Y. Guys, in 2008, and are working on their seventh studio album, New World Orphans.

Style and influences

Hed PE performs a style of music which they have referred to as "G-punk", a phrase inspired by the term used to describe the style known as "G-funk", itself a reference to the P-Funk collective. Hed PE's music is a fusion of styles ranging from hip hop and reggae to punk rock, hardcore punk and heavy metal. Their influences include Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, Bob Marley and The Notorious B.I.G. Rolling Stone critic Paul Semel wrote that "Bury", from the album Blackout, "sounds like the Beastie Boys battling Biohazard". Hed PE's second album, Broke, incorporated classic rock and world music influences, while Back 2 Base X was influenced by classic punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash, and Insomnia was influenced by thrash metal bands such as Slayer. Although Hed PE has been described as a rap rock group, they do not consider themselves a part of this genre. Frontman Jahred Shane is quoted as saying "It is hard because people wanna describe music with words and that in itself is a difficult task. I think that it is a misconception that we were part of some trend or whatever. We don't look at ourselves like that. Bob Marley had 12 albums and Zeppelin. We just consider ourselves musicians, artists. We don't consider ourselves "rap-rockers" or whatever." The band has also been termed "nu metal".

Band members

Current members

Former members

  • Wesstyle — guitar
  • Sonny Mayo — guitar
  • Chizad — guitar
  • Devin Lebsack — drums
  • Moke — drums
  • B.C. Vaught — drums
  • Christopher Hendrich — drums
  • The Finger — keyboard
  • TiLo — backing vocals

Discography

References

External links

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