The Psycho Realm
is an American hip hop group started in 1989 by brothers Sick Jacken (Joaquin Gonzalez) and Big Duke (Gustavo Gonzalez) from the Downtown, Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. The first recorded Psycho Realm song, "Scandalous", was released on the soundtrack of the film Mi Vida Loca in 1994. That same year B-Real of the rap group Cypress Hill saw Psycho Realm performing at Olvera Street for an End Barrio Warfare concert. Their performance inspired B-Real to the point that he wanted to join the group. With this time period being the height of Cypress Hill’s career anything Cypress Hill related would get major publicity.In 1997 Sony released the first Psycho Realm album, labeled as an addition to the Cypress Hill Family by the sticker placed on the CD case. Due to conflicts with the record label the Gonzalez brothers were dropped from Sony as Jacken explains, "the machine was just trying to censor me / Didn't do it for Sony so they ended up releasing me / Independent, no longer locked down for an infinity / So my vicinity stays true to my identity." The brothers then went on to form Sick Symphonies, their own record label, which lacked the big budget for promotion and distribution in chain stores along with group member B-Real, who was stuck on his contract with Sony for Cypress Hill.
On January 29, 1999 at 12:35 a.m. one month before the expected release of the second Psycho Realm album, Duke was shot in the neck in a confrontation while trying to split up a fight at Tommy's Burger Stand at Beverly and Rampart Boulevard in Los Angeles which left him paralyzed from the neck down for life. The shooter, a 24 year old named Robert Gorcsi, who was on parole at the time of the shooting, was given a bond set at 1.6 million dollars, he was eventually jailed for attempted murder. Jacken later that same year released A War Story: Book I with B-Real only appearing on one song. In 2001 the Sick Symphonies label released The Steel Storm the first album of a new group called Street Platoon. Jacken with the help of Street Platoon finished A War Story: Book II which came out at the end of 2003, which was already halfway done before the shooting of Duke.The group aims to inject pride and knowledge into those who live in the gang infested poverty ridden neighborhoods, but at the same time wants to open the minds of the ones on the outside who look down upon them. Jacken attempts to explain to outsiders with his statement, "my people’s exodus results in prejudice / you ask us why in poverty we become terrorists/ well let me tell you this we don’t choose to tote gats / and selling on the corner is to avoid tax". Duke views the group not as rappers but neighborhood reporters. They choose to document, "a time when its in fashion to be gun flashing, blasting... strapped ready for rivals harassing". The Psycho Realm spoke about the corruption of Rampart police officers from their experiences living in the Rampart district, before the Rampart Scandal hit the media. The group also promotes the unification of gangs with remarks such as "think about who dies when we let the lead out, we’re killing family tragically". The Psycho Realm has grown a worldwide following of "soldiers", and have performed in Mexico, Latin America, Japan, and Europe. At the moment Duke is in charge of all merchandising for Psycho Realm. Duke is known to personally reply to many of his fans emails, and is actively involved in a large percentage of production in Psycho Realm, and other affiliates' work.