Hollywood Undead meld the rap-rock aggression of Limp Bizkit, the brutally honest self-examination of Eminem and the objectionable content of gangster rap. Hailing from Hollywood, California, this six-piece unit perform under pseudonyms and wear masks on stage to protect their identity. Embodying the dark underside that lies beneath the phony glitz of Hollywood, the band’s songs often revel in the desperate ugliness of the city’s less-glamorous elements. Gleefully amoral, Hollywood Undead demonstrate a penchant for casual sex and an obsession with angst-fueled diatribes leveled at their enemies.

Hollywood Undead’s start was hardly momentous. In 2005, two Los Angeles friends, Deuce and J-Dog, collaborated on a few tracks and decided to post them online. But soon, interest started circulating, prompting the guys to form Hollywood Undead with Charlie Scene, Da Kurlzz, Funny Man and Johnny 3 Tears. Originally, the band also included Shady Jeff, but he left the group before their debut dropped in 2008.

Signed to A&M/Octone, Hollywood Undead released Swan Songs in September 2008. Mixing rap, metal and pop, Swan Songs featured candid portraits of the band members’ childhoods but also contained unflattering attitudes about women that were often childish but could also be very funny. Clearly, Hollywood Undead weren’t concerned with political correctness – throughout Swan Songs, there’s an undeniably juvenile streak befitting the foul-mouthed material and prankster spirit. Consequently, the album makes for an unusual juxtaposition of early Beastie Boys-style irreverence and the gritty worldview of gangster rap.

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