In 2004, rapper Damon aka Mr. Smith and keyboardist Jean Kong originally played as a duo; four years ago, they met the rest of the guys one night at Jammin Java, the now shuttered Parma coffeehouse, and Black & Broke was born. The group dubbed its sound “hipster-hop” to convey the odd assortment of musical influences at work. “I started saying that because I have never seen anything like this before,” says Mr. Smith. “We’re like Gym Class Heroes and Red Hot Chili Peppers but we’re different from that.” The band’s debut EP, Hot Jams for People to Dance To, is a clever collection of tongue-in-cheek tunes that showcase the band’s sense of humor.
Last December, the band put out the mixtape Heartbreak Season 2, a sequel to an album it released in 2011. “It’s about the trials and tribulations of a nasty breakup,” says Smith. “We’re now trying to fund our first full-length studio album. We want to do it right this time and get into a studio.” The band celebrates its tenth anniversary with a concert that takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Foundry. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been ten years,” says Mr. Smith. “It’s crazy that ten years ago we started making stupid songs in our basement. It’s refreshing to have so many people supporting us.” DJ p. Stoops and Uptown Buddha are also on the bill. The local hip-hop group Dangerous Colors will reunite to play the show as well.