Hip-hop/rock mash-ups have existed since the '80s when Run DMC teamed up with Aerosmith for a remake of "Walk This Way." And while that collaboration was a bit of a paradigm shift for both genres, it only resulted in a single song -- a one-off.
It was also released more than 30 years ago and since then, only a handful of like-minded groups have come together to create a solid unit, a cohesive pairing, a band.
Enter Powerflo -- the brainchild of Cypress Hill's Sen Dog -- a rap/metal hybrid that finds the rapper taking over lead vocalist duties and dishing out hard-knock grit over heavy riffs courtesy of an all-star supergroup lineup: Billy Graziadei from Biohazard on rhythm guitar, Rogelio Lozano from Downset on backing vocals, Fernando Schaefer from Worst on drums, and Christian Olde Wolbers on bass (formerly of Fear Factory).
"It just kinda of fell in our lap. We came up with a name ... and then, you know, we became a band. That's all we've been doing now for the past year and a half," said Graziadei via cell phone.
Their lead single, "Resistance," which dropped in May, is a punishing effort. Made from anger and energy, it features an urgent Sen Dog pushing through hefty power chords and asserting himself: "I come forth with a vengeance / Escaping my death sentence / True rebel and I care not / If I offend you with my presence."
And he sounds right at home, unleashing his inner hessian just as easily as he rides a DJ Muggs beat -- a seamless blend of rap's middle-finger attitude with metal's in-your-face aggression.
This past summer, New Damage Records released Powerflo's self-titled debut and after opening up for San Diego's own P.O.D. on a recent run of shows, they're back on tour now with Brujeria.
Powerflo play House of Blues on Saturday, Nov. 18. Doors are at 6 p.m., and tickets are available here.