Black & Broke is a six piece Alternative band from Cleveland, OH with roots in Hip-Hop, Rock, Funk, and Soul. Black & Broke takes each member's very diverse musical background and melds them into one giant ball of musical bliss. The band pulls influence from an array of artists such as: Gym Class Heroes, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Pharrell/Neptunes, Craig David, The Eagles, Classic Motown era, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more...
Black & Broke began in late 2004 in a suburban basement. Two kids, Jerel "Jean Kong" Jones and Damon "Bamm Bamm" Smith, began writing raps and making beats just for fun. Over the next 5 years, the two would build a discography of well over 100 songs.
In late 2009, for a show at a local coffee shop, Smith & Jones approached local rock outfit, The Astrovans!, to accompany the MC duo for a one time live hip-hop set. The group agreed and the performance spawned an ongoing working relationship with the band. In early 2010, The Astrovans! were close to breaking up and were asked to join Black & Broke to give the group a permanent live hip-hop sound similar to The Roots or Gym Class Heroes. This lineup included Iddrisu "The Fascination" Seidu on vocals and percussion, Nick "Mr Ni" Fischer on bass guitar, Gabe "The Notorious BLG" Fischer on guitar, Kevin "The Executive" Metz on drums, and Steve "Stevie Keys" Seritti on keyboard/piano.
In 2011, the Fischers departed the band due to other musical endeavors and creative differences. Ed Planisek took over on bass guitar and Andrew "Little" Seritti on guitar. The band released their first album as the new Black & Broke, titled Heartbreak Season, on December 21, 2011. The album was a story of love lost and was received very well by fans.
2012 saw not only the departure of bass, guitar, and keyboard players, but the return of the Fischer cousins, Jean Kong taking on the duty of keys, and Mr. Smith on rhythm guitar. In October 2012, the band went into the studio to record their first studio EP. "Hot Jams For The People To Dance To" was released Pi Day (March 14, 2013). Fall of 2013, drummer "The Executive" parted ways to focus on school and solo projects. The spot was filled by a good friend of the band Jonathan "Zen" Koenig.
December 21, 2013, exactly two years after it's predecessor, the album Heartbreak Season 2 was released digitally. The album was released in physical form as a double disc with Heartbreak Season 1 on Valentine's Day 2014 with 6 bonus tracks and remixes. "Zen" left the band in Spring of 2014 to hike across the country on the Appalachian Trail and the band recruited long time friend Kevin "BK" Hannah on drums.
2014 and early 2015 saw a slight shift in the direction of the band's sound. From serious subjects such as "UONEVNO" and "Victoria" to more whimsical songs such as "Milky Way Lover" and "Dim Sum", Black & Broke is showing the world that they aren't here to mess around. 2015 will be a huge year for the band as they plan on getting into the studio to cut their first full length studio album (currently untitled)
Black & Broke has opened for many national touring acts such: Dessa (of the Doomtree Collective), Turquoise Jeep Records, Bushwalla, D-Pryde, Jake Miller, House of Whales, and Nicholas Megalis.