Why I ❤️ Bad Brains’ I Against I, by Fever 333’s Jason Aalon Butler

Fever 333 and Bad Brains
(Image credit: Jimmy Fontaine)

I Against I is the greatest album to me, because it actually challenged metal. I mean, for a start, Bad Brains are incredible musicians. Incredible! And they were so radical in what they were saying, especially in a very white dominated genre.

The first time I heard it was at my friends Paul’s. I was, like, ‘Wow, this is crazy!’ Then he told me that they were all black dudes, and I just thought that was incredible. I remember feeling like I wasn’t alone and that maybe I wasn’t as much of a freak as the people of Inglewood made me out to be as I was this skateboarder from the hood who was into punk rock and metal. I remember feeling actual representation, an actual space to belong.

Their influence on metal is massive, even though many people don’t speak about them, in a more mainstream way. It’s perennial, timeless, classic music, and I don’t care how you dress it, it’s classic music. And you know why? Because they meant it, because it’s authentic, because there is a message in there and they represented something to people. That’s how they felt and that is how they made other people feel the same way.