YEAR FORMED: 1994
HOME TOWN: Jackson Heights, New York
Danny Diablo aka Lord Ezec
What happens when two immovableforces like the New York hardcore scene and the hip hop world collide? What does the intersection of the two very different, yet very similar genreslook like? Look no further than Danny Diablo. Danny is the"Lord" of his musical empire, he is singer, he is actor, he isentrepreneur; he is more than a person, Danny Diablo has successfully built andmarketed himself as an underground icon and a product.
Born as Daniel Singer, but knownworldwide as Danny Diablo and Lord Ezec, Singer grew up in the Jackson Heightssection of Queens, a backdrop musically known as the mecca of the hardcoreworld, a backdrop that proved integral to his musical career. Like mostkids, Singer participated in sports, but would eventually abandon much of theathletics he played as a child, and turn to both hardcore music and graffiti. He would often frequent the famed and now closed CBGB's along with hisfriends in the Dirty Money Syndicate, and as the face and name of Lord Ezec spawnedand increasingly gained recognition in New York, both in its clubs and on itsbuildings, so too came some of the trouble that would force Ezec to seek thesolace and refuge a hardcore band can provide. It was in 1994 thatEzec's younger brother committed suicide and trouble was also beginning to findsome of his fellow DMS'ers. Normally trouble begets trouble, but forEzec, trouble begot fame.
After following the hardcore scenesince the late eighties, Danny turned from fan to performer in 1994 when hestarted the acclaimed Crown of Thornz. Crown of Thornz released the TrainYard Blues E.P. in 1995 and their only full length, Mentally Vexed ,in 1996. Although Crown of Thornz disbanded in 1998, Lord Ezec was wellon his way to international recognition.
The term "Thugcore" wascoined in 1995 when Lord Ezec formed the at the time side project Skarhead withmembers of Madball and Subzero. Meant to resemble a revolving hardcoresuper group, Skarhead featured some of the most recognizable hardcorepersonalities from the New York area. The Drugs, Money, Sex E.P.was released in 1996, followed by Kings at Crime in 1998, and ultimatelyNY Thugcore: The Hardcore Years 1994-2000 in 2001. Having touredthe world with Skarhead, it was eventually time to call the band quits in thelate nineties. It was the end of Skarhead that brought on the beginningof Danny Diablo and the start of his hip hop career.
Danny Diablo spent his solo careerbuilding up an insuperable reputation as a juggernaut in the New York Cityunderground. In addition to his solo career, Danny Diablo is also amember of the Jewish Gangsterz and Shotblockers, and in 2006 he returned to hishardcore form when he teamed with Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta on the projectIcepick, releasing Violent Epiphany.
And while Danny Diablo never reallywent away, he is back and as strong as ever. Diablo is set to release Thugcore4 Life: The Album on Suburban Noize records on September 25. In addition toDiablo's work on the record, Thugcore 4 Life is a collection of some ofmusic's biggest names, including Production by Tim Armstrong (who is alsoco-producing International Hardcore Superstar), Zeuss and Dante Ross,and Executive Producer Jamey Jasta. Guest spots on Thugcoreinclude Daddy X of Kottonmouth Kings fame, the Sub Hoodz Stress andPaulie Havok, DJ Lethal, Slain, Daddy Boy, La CokaNostra's Big Left and Ceekay, Necro, the Transplants own SkinheadRob. Diablo is also currently recording his newest record, InternationalHardcore Superstar, with Rancidís Tim Armstrong to be released onEpitaph/Hellcat Records.
In addition to his continuedachievements in hip hop and hardcore, Danny Diablo has also spent some time onthe big screen. Most recently Diablo filmed his role in Charles Nordeen'sThe Crackdown, in which he fittingly plays a gang member by the nameIsrael Rodriguez. Lord Ezec can also be seen in the documentary N.Y.H.C.that chronicles New York City's hardcore scene of the mid nineteen nineties andthe rise of Crown of Thornz. Previously released on VHS only, the muchanticipated DVD release of N.Y.H.C. features lengthy interview spots with LordEzec about his life and the hardcore scene.
Crown of Thornz, Skarhead, JewishGangsterz, Shotblockers, Icepick, solo records, feature films, documentaries,the Dirty Money Syndicate. And it doesn't stop there. Danny Diablohas graced the cover of international magazines over a dozen times, and he isalso sponsored by several clothing companies including SRH, Pitchfork Hardware,Black Flys, Hatewear, Tribal, and the Joker Brand.
The past fifteen years may have beenjam packed with trials and triumphs for Danny Diablo, but really they were justthe start of a career that is as young as it is old. What will thefuture bring for the hip hop and hardcore genres that are just now intersectingand reaching their maximum potential? One can only guess, but if thefuture is anything like the past, Danny Diablo will be the real InternationalHardcore Superstar, and Thugcore 4 Life will be more than an album, it will bea mantra. As the immovable hip hop and hardcore worlds collide, DannyDiablo and Lord Exec continue to be among the few still standing.