When: Thursday, November 6
Times: Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 9:00 pm
Tickets: Advanced: $17 | Day of: $20 | All-Ages
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 5TH AT 10 AM
EL-P + KILLER MIKE = RUN THE JEWELS
El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, might have seemed like an unlikely pairing on paper, but the duo subverted and pulverized all expectations with their critically lauded Run The Jewels collaborative LP last year. Tapping into the creative synergy they’d discovered in 2012 on Mike’s R.A.P. Music album (produced by El-P) and El’sCancer 4 Cure album (featuring Mike ), plus subsequent tours together, Run The Jewels cemented their musical alliance with an album of uncompromisingly raw, forward thinking hip-hop and garnering limitless critical accolades including the likes of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, XXL, SPIN, New York Times, and many more. This super dynamic duo is putting the touches on their next offering, RTJ2, due for release this fall, with the 1st single dropping via Adult Swim’s Single Series in early September. They’ll also be touring N. America in support of the album all of November.
Much is often made of the relationship between artist and place. A common consideration for sure, yet it seems foolish to appraise any artist without considering the effect of his location on everything from his unique worldview to his understanding and use of the various elements that make up his musical vision.
Consider then what it means to make music in the following landscape: a city famed for its fearlessness and endeavor, struck by despair and shuttered. A city in which delicate, perfumed beauty sits aside rancid, mangled poverty. A city wide eyed and weary, at all times both monument and bulldozer, remaining itself through constant “de” and “re”construction.
That city is New York and the band is RATKING. Wiki, Hak and Sporting Life. While many of their peers seem too content to inhabit the safety of mimicry and pastiche, RATKING’s music is best understood as neither reenactment nor recreation, but reaction.
To what, one might ask?
Well, a clip from any one of their frenetic live shows provides an immediate answer: you hear the fallout of a bloated and self satisfied hip hop, the nihilist refrain of dead end punk and the prickly reach for connection that befits their noise and experimental influences. Left with the various remaining bits of all these traditions and the bum-rush scramble of modern life, RATKING are creating a new reality in every moment, just like every other inhabitant of New York City. While Sporting Life weaves a teeming Big Apple backdrop, Wiki and Hak act not only as our mischievous tour guides but dual ends of our own conscious: one sharp witted, vulnerable and seemingly anti-social, the other feral, poetic and almost philosophical. Call it ‘no wave’ rap. Call it ‘no school’ hip hop. Call it RATKING!
Despot has rapped acclaimed verses on releases by Das Racist and Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, performed in front of crowds of all sizes and musical tastes and made enough money to purchase a diamond-encrusted ring shaped like the Forest Hills, Queens apartment building on 108th Street in which he spent his childhood. He’s managed all this without yet releasing an album of his own.
The erstwhile Alec Reinstein, who approximated that he has been rapping for 17 years, is planning to release his debut album, entirely produced by electro-pop duo Ratatat, this year. A supergroup of frequent collaborators Das Racist, eXquire, Danny Brown, El-P and Action Bronson is also in the works, Despot said in his conversation with RapGenius. “It’s going pretty well so far,” Despot said of the album. “(Ratatat) are two of my best friends, and we’ve toured like five or six times together. Recording with them and recording with Das Racist is really just like hanging out.”
Despot said the reason he’s gone this long without releasing an album has nothing to do with creating a sense of mystery or a Dr. Dre-esque obsession with perfection. He’s acutely aware of his pattern of sixteen bars a year. “People think I’m a perfectionist, but I’m really just lazy,” he said, admitting that he’s seen friends and acquaintances, particularly Das Racist, gain success while he did not. “I’m not bitter at all. They worked on that shit. All those dudes have worked really hard, and I haven’t really worked at all. I guess I worked at other things, but not rapping.“
While his work at Santos Party House, the club he co-owns with Andrew W.K. and others, has brought him a level of success (he handles much of the club’s talent relations and booking for concerts), Despot said he now wants to focus on rap-related goals, including his new Short Cuts endeavor with friend and collaborator Heems. “I want to be a rapper,” he said. “I’m disappointed that I’m not more of a rapper. But I want the club to do well. We have some long-term plans for it. But I mostly want to rap.”
A special message from Despot to his fans: “I’d like to say I’m sorry. I meant to make a rap album a long time ago. I swear I’m really making one. I don’t recommend being a rapper. I don’t recommend owning a nightclub. I don’t recommend dropping out of college – no, I do. Please pay closer attention to my lyrics, and write them on the internet correctly. I’ll pay someone $5000 to beat up Mac Miller. For real. And a shout-out to Mac Miller. Your album was really dope. “