Film Review: Breaking A Monster

Feb. 25 / 17

Hey! Going to give my review of the documentary film, Breaking A Monster. This film, directed by Luke Meyer, follows three young African-American kids from Brooklyn, New York. Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, and Alec Atkins have garnered attention as the heavy-metal trio, Unlocking the Truth. The band, formed in 2007, began performing in the streets of Time Square, which gained lots of social media attention.

By 2014, these eighth graders signed a $1.8 million five-album deal with Sony Music Entertainment. Of course with the boys being under age, the contract had to be approved by the New York Supreme Court. The deal was put together by their manager…now former manager, Alan Sacks. Sacks, who was co-creator for the 70s sitcom classic Welcome Back Kotter and responsible for the careers of Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers, is kinda like one of those zen master managers. He’s got the calm, cool and collected look about him. The thought of signing a record deal sounds like a dream come true, but that’s simply not the case.

They may be kids, but even they saw right through the visage of the record company’s true motive. Instead of recording, there were meetings, endless meetings. You see the frustration and tension rise during those times. Here’s an excerpt from an article from The Daily Beast,

“It’s all about branding,” their label rep tells the perplexed boys early on in the film, before showing them a mock-up of the kids transformed into animeBoondocks-like characters for an accompanying cartoon.

The music industry has the positives and the cons and this is one of them. This film gives you a taste of what the industry is really like. I find it refreshing that Meyer was able to show us the not so great aspects of the industry. It’s not all rock and glam, but you do know that these boys are here to make music, good music. They also know that they have a lot of growing up to do, not only personally, but musically.

The bottom line is that Unlocking the Truth is not just some band, they are a group of talented musicians, ready to show the world that Black folk know how to rock like the rest of them.

Breaking a Monster: A

You can go to their website: This film was released last year, but you can see it on Netflix. You can find their debut album, Chaos on Apple, Spotify, and Google Play.
















featured images: Metal Injection, Deadbolt Photos, Spin
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