Rap-Metal Is Back...and It's Good
Take Devastator, for instance, the shining example of how to do modern rap-metal right. These guys have djent riffs in spades, progressive interludes and a rapper with some serious skill in his flow. This is what the genre always sort of had the potential to be, finally being exploited properly.
Then take a band like Emmure, who wear their Limp Bizkit influence on their sleeve. They get a lot of shit for it, but love them or hate them, they're one of the bigger names in metal right now. Front man Frankie Palmeri has always drawn from rapping to influence his lyrics and his vocal style, and most recently they busted out a DJ to put some turntable scratches on the single "E" from their new record, Eternal Enemies.
Far from being the abomination that it by all rights should have been, the track is bouncy and fun, and the turntables take nothing away from Emmure's sound. They are perfectly applied. If you're going to do this sort of thing in metal, this is how to do it.
It's not all gold, of course. Former Escape the Fate front man Ronnie Radke's current project, Falling in Reverse, has started to head in the rap metal direction, and it's pure trash. The reason is that they're drawing from mainstream-radio rap. If you already hate what you hear on The Box like most real hip-hop heads, you're going to hate what Falling in Reverse is doing.
But then you get a band like Hacktivist, who are doing something similar to Devastator and executing the idea very well. A lot of fans are going to be resistant of course, but I for one welcome our new rap-metal overlords.
As long as it continues to be done with tact, like the way Hacktivist or Emmure are doing it, and remains largely removed from the awful cliches Falling in Reverse are attempting to trade in, it should be a welcome addition to the genre. If nothing else, it lends variety to a style of metal that has increasingly become mired by copycat bands and devoid of true originality.