RT&J really is the new PB&J. Tastes great and good for you, too. The song’s not saying much other than how murderous they are (on the mic, of course), but the video’s an unsubtle critique of the rigged justice system. Not breaking much new ground but Killer Mike and El-P make it all seem fresh and exciting. National treasures, I’m telling you.
The Thousand Points Of Light Memorial Waterfall lies dry at the center of the Super 7 Mega Mall food court tetrahedron, and everybody’s got an opinion as to why. Hair triggers, we have them. In this new reality of hot takes and burning questions, it’s fun to clamber onto a roof and shout “BELL BOTTOMS” over and over into the night sky. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion strut their way outta “Frontier Justice” in its college radio days and into this new consciousness, the latest FJ delivery system being Spotify. And speaking of that new consciousness, on this set JSBX drops into the void between Danny Brown‘s stuttering, claustrophobic “Ain’t It Funny” on one side and Lady Gaga‘s “Diamond Heart” on the other. Young, wild Americans, both.
Spotify: Frontier Justice 2/19/17 (35 songs, 2 hr 3 min)
There’s some Ratt along the way, because after all, what goes around comes around (and they’ll tell you why), L.A. Witch is back with cool new stuff for Suicide Squeeze, RTJ remind us to stay hungry and pissed, and Eminem is no less than unhinged on “No Favors,” one of the many standouts on Big Sean‘s terrific new record I Decided.
Making playlists isn’t protest. It’s not political action. But it can be a soundtrack for both dancing and dissent, and do its best to uphold the art of discourse, which in these polarizing times is increasingly under attack. And if you want to completely check out, there’s always room on Goat‘s delightfully weird magic carpet. Here, “Try My Robe.”
You can also try an Apple Music playlist. Let me know if this works. -ed.
This is so great. I love these guys. They exude the righteous joy performers feel when they know they’re doing something awesome. RTJ can be fun and playful and serious and cutting all within the same verse. I wonder if Mike and El realize how much we need them right now and how perfect they are for this moment in time.
“Talk To Me”
“Legend Has It”
“A Report To The Shareholders”
This is awesome. The video is so well acted. I don’t know if they give best acting awards for music videos but Igor Tsyshkevych and Ian Bailey deserve some serious recognition for their performance here. Truly amazing.
And what a brilliant idea to hook up Run the Jewels with DJ Shadow for a collaboration. The guitar break is super dope and proves what a brilliant crate digger DJ Shadow continues to be after all these years. It samples “Ol’ Man River” as performed by Italian singer Caterina Valente with the Heinz Kiesling Orchestra off a 1968 record that looks like something you’d find at Goodwill. It’s the type of album I would’ve picked up on a lark in the 90s to see how awful her cover of “We Can Work It Out” was. I would’ve been pleasantly surprised. But that’s the genius of DJ Shadow.
You’ve gotta love Run the Jewels. El-P has the best lines in this one. “Picture this / I’m a bag of dicks / Put me to your lips.” I mean, come on. How can you not love that? Later he boasts, “Claim your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest.” Better watch out, Peter Thiel might fund a lawsuit to put you all out of business.
Until then, I’ll be listening to this on repeat through November. Remember everybody: register to vote. Don’t boo. Vote.
From The Mountain Will Fall, out now on Mass Appeal Records.