H.R. Outside of New York's CBGB in 2006
|Birth name||Paul D. Hudson|
11 February 1956|
|Origin||Washington, DC, USA|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, reggae|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass|
|Associated acts||Bad Brains, Human Rights|
Paul D. Hudson (born 11 February 1956), better known by his stage name H.R. (Human Rights), is the British-American lead singer of the American hardcore punk band Bad Brains. His vocal delivery is very diverse, ranging from a rapid-fire nasal whine, to feral growling and screeches, to smooth near-crooning or staccato reggae rhymes. He has departed the band periodically to pursue solo efforts that are more mellow reggae than Bad Brains' usual punk/metal offerings. He is the older brother of Earl Hudson, Bad Brains' drummer.
H.R. and his bandmates became Rastafari around 1979. This spiritual direction influenced the music of Bad Brains via his vocals, and inspired the creation of his reggae band, Human Rights (or H.R.).
Although reggae is the main focus on his solo material, he explores rock and other musical genres. He has had numerous albums released on SST Records. A Village Voice review of a Bad Brains concert described H.R. on stage "like James Brown gone berserk, with a hyperkinetic repertoire of spins, dives, back-flips, splits, and skanks.", although in recent years his stage presence has become more subdued, primarily due to his spiritual development from the O.G. Punk/Rasta to more of a Rasta Elder (at least on stage), as well as his occasional playing of rhythm guitar.
In recent years, H.R.'s Human Rights performances have become markedly more mellow and restrained, focusing primarily on reggae and rasta. This is a stark contrast to his wildly animated, aggressive stage performances of the late 1970s and 1980s.
Interviews with H.R. feature prominently in the 2006 documentary American Hardcore, in which he discusses the early days of hardcore in New York City and Washington D.C., and his association with fellow travelers like Minor Threat and the Cro-Mags. In particular, he recalls encouraging Ian MacKaye to fully articulate Minor Threat's emerging straight edge philosophy, to give young people a positive direction. As depicted in the 2012 documentary Bad Brains: A Band in D.C., H.R.'s bizarre behavior, such as wearing a motorcycle helmet during a performance and refusing to sing, causes friction with other members of the band.
In late 2016, the film Finding Joseph I: The HR From Bad Brains Documentary premiered in Europe and the United States. This film features interviews with HR, as well as other musicians, peers, and family members; it chronicles his life, struggles, and philosophies. The film's companion book was released by Lesser Gods in January 2017.
H.R. has adult children from previous relationships and has been married since 2012.
In 2016, H.R.'s wife, Lori, revealed that H.R. suffers from SUNCT syndrome, a rare neurological disorder which causes sporadic, excruciating headaches. He underwent brain surgery in early 2017 to relieve the headaches. He also suffers from schizophrenia.
For H.R.'s discography with Bad Brains, see Bad Brains discography.
- It's About Luv (1985) Olive Tree Records.
- Keep Out of Reach (EP, 1986) Olive Tree Records.
- Human Rights (1987) Olive Tree Records/SST Records.
- Singin' in the Heart (1989) SST Records.
- Charge (1990) SST Records.
- I Luv (1991)
- Rock of Enoch (EP, 1992)
- Our Faith (1992)
- Hey Wella (2007)
- Out of Bounds (2012) D.I.A Records.
- HR In Dubb (2013) D.I.A Records/Hamma
- "HR Live At CBGB's 1984" (2017) Catch A Fire Music
- H.R. Anthology (1991) acts as "best of" album and showcases a diverse array of songs from the 1980s albums.
- H.R. Tapes '84 – '86, compilation CD including "It's About Luv" and "Keep Out of Reach".
- Sublime Feat. H.R. – Shame in Dem Game, [Live] on Sublimes box set, Everything Under the Sun (Disk 1)
- "Inverted Paradox" – 2012 D.I.A Records CD featuring H.R. tracks 'Out of Bounds' and 'Row.'
Appearances on albums by other artists
- "Heroes" and "Heroes part 2" on Return from Incas by Lost Generation (Incas Records, 1984)
- "Zion", "Zion Dub" and "Road to Zion (Highest Region Dub)" on Zion by Zion Train (Olive Tree Records, 1986)
- "New Sun" on Right Back by Long Beach Dub Allstars (Dreamworks Records, 1999)
- "Black Eye" on 77 003 by Bargain Music (Beatville Records, 1999)
- "Like a Lily" on Se Viene El Bum by Lumumba (Gora Herriak, 1999)
- "Without Jah, Nothin'" on Satellite by P.O.D. (Atlantic, 2001)
- "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy", "More and More" and "Hip Hip Hooray" on The Epic Trilogy by Gone (SST Records, 2007)
- "Riya" on The Hour of Reprisal by Ill Bill (Uncle Howie Records, 2008)
- "Forty Deuce Hebrew" on The Grimy Awards by Ill Bill (Fat Beats Records, 2013)
- "Lucky Rabbit" on Pains by Islander (Victory, 2013)
- "Chant It Down" on Chaliwa by New Zion Trio (Veal, 2013)
- "Kumbaya" on Luicidal by Luicidal (DC-Jam Records, 2014)
- "Think It Over" on Power Under Control by Islander (Victory Records, 2016)
- "HR's Biography". HR Music.
- "KFTH – Bad Brains Page". Homepages.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- Pollicino, Raul. "Who Is Who - Bad Brains". www.beastiemania.com.
- Calore, Michael. "Documentary Bad Brains: A Band in D.C. Sheds Light on Punk Group's Legacy". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- [dead link]
- "Finding Joseph I - Lesser Gods". Lessergodsbooks.com. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "HR's Biography". HR Music.
- Kreps, Daniel (March 16, 2016). "Bad Brains' H.R. Raising Money to Combat Headache Disorder". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
- "Bad Brains' H.R. 'Looks Good' After Undergoing Brain Surgery". Loudwire.
- "New Documentary on H.R. of Bad Brains Sheds Light on His Untold Story". 6 December 2016.