The hardcore legend on
what nourishes his soul (and tickles his sweet tooth).
BY H.R. WITH RANDY HARWARD
If H.R. (“Human Rights”) had his druthers, spiritual truth
would be on everyone’s lips. Don’t misinterpret this: the Bad Brains/Hey Wella
vocalist and D.C. hardcore legend doesn’t wanna force anyone to do anything-and
as far as BLURT knows, there’s no such thing as Rasta-fascism. It’s just that,
when you’re gonna ask somebody to list five things they can’t live without,
like we frequently do here at BLURT, you expect material things, the various and sundry
things that get them through the day. You know, like Ben Folds can’t go on
without his Leica Rangefinder camera, Aimee Mann needs her protein powder.
With H.R., it ain’t that simple. The man loves his music. And
weed. And we’re pretty sure he digs skateboards. But priority-wise, they’re
lower in the litany. What’s on the list -” It would be The Spirit…, the
Scriptures…, Love, Nutrition. Fifth and most important of all, Pure Life – required,
at least in H.R.’s mind, scant elaboration. It’s just that simple to him. In
fact, when pressed to select a bonus item with the criteria being that it was a
physical object, well… smiley H.R. had
a hard time coming up with something. Even when we gave him a specific
“Yes sir, yes sir,” he says. “We have been keeping ourselves
most pleasant and positive.”
“Specifically talking about the Divine Spirit: Since the
beginning, the Almighty Creator created the Heavens and the Earth and His love
for His family, He created. Because He was married to Jehovah-should I say they were married to Jehovah. And then
later on, the scriptures were fulfilled.”
“The story of Israel, of Creation, was then recorded and
became documented. And then God came, as He came, and He was born again.”
Love (or, as H.R.
spells it, Luv)
“And then the love that He had for his people began to grow,
and He began to teach His people to feed them, through the nutrition of His
very own, how do we say-His philosophy.”
“It was still in the theory stages of course, naturally.
Later on, it was perfected and um… that human began to learn about eating good
food, et cetera, et cetera. To be more specific, to stay away from pork as much
as humanly possible, fatty foods, and um… drinking good water, pure water.”
“And then Pure Life, trying to maintain PMA – positive
mental attitude, sir.”
Again, it was a foregone conclusion that H.R. would choose
intangible concepts when asked what he can’t live without. But although he’s
not a worldly individual, he lives in the world. He’s human, therefore there
must be some tangible product he can’t live without. Like, does he have a
favorite candy bar? The answer-and the product’s impetus-may surprise you.
“Uh… well, uh, I do enjoy our good candy Hey Wella. We have
some Hey Wella, H.R. candy.”
BLURT: You really do?
Yes, sir! It tastes very similar to Chiclets.
So it’s gum.
How did you come up
with that idea?
It was suggested to us through our marketing agency…
When you first tried
it, you liked it that much, that you can’t live without it?
Mmm-hmmm. I sure
did. It was goooo-oood!
After releasing the
well-received Bad Brains reunion album Build A Nation (Megaforce) last year, H.R. is now using his voice and
Rasta-dervish acrobatics in a new band, Hey Wella. Their loud-as-love debut
album is out now on the DC Hardcore label. Look for them on tour.