Getting two new Run The Jewels tracks as a preview to their upcoming album was a welcome surprise this week. It’s also a tease. They’ve been touting how proud and excited they are about this new record for a while, but in the great tradition of music and marketing, we all must wait. Now the anticipation is even greater. Like all RTJ, this sounds best turned up to 11. There’s a certain vintage of swagger here you just aren’t going to get anywhere else.
On “Ooh LALA” El-P is still saying stuff like, “when we talk, we kalishnikov,” and Killer Mike manages to drop “pugilistic my linguistics are Jeru tha Damaja.” And like that my brain is split between past and present – I’m wondering how or where I can play Bond (GoldenEye, N64, for whatever reason my immediate association with that gun) and fall back into a mid-90s rap rabbit hole with Nice and Smooth, DJ Premier, Jeru, ODB, et al.
On “Yankee and the Brave (ep 4)” it’s classic El-Producto style production where whatever you are listening on feels like it might break. We also have a “Pinky and the Brain” reference in the title keeping us duly 90s conscious. El has a few lines about facts in the age of the internet, targeted advertising, and his willingness to fight the system,
Automatic facts, it’s like tha-a-at
Scandal bliss when you puttin’ villains in charge of shit
All of us targeted, all we doin’ is arguin’
Part of them isn’t workin’ ’til every pockets been picked and sold and harvested
I’m ready to mob on these fuckin’ Charlatans
This is all I want from them. Keep having fun, not taking anything too seriously, and watching them slowly turn into the badass old dudes we all imagine ourselves becoming when we are young. Somehow the kids seem to get it too – if we ever go to concerts again it will be exciting to see who shows up when this goes on tour (apart from the dates with Rage Against The Machine). They are having so much fun and it shows.
Here’s a mess of related links. Enjoy loudly.