RTJ tour

 

Run the Jewels is becoming hip hop’s most redemptive act.  Unapologetic, brash, witty, and raw, Killer Mike and El-P have created a sound that eclipses mainstream hip hop’s current blueprint of trendy beats and superficial content.  The two are ushering in a model of varied experimentation with their lyrics and El-P’s production.  RTJ recently dropped their sophomore album and the response has been outstanding.  Murals, super fans supporters, and their own trill hand sign complement the movement these guys are creating all over the country.  I went to their sold out show in Atlanta at the Masquerade a few nights ago and it was one of the most high energy performances I’ve experienced this year.

The space was packed full of wild, raucous Run the Jewels fans.  Once Mike and El hit the stage, along with their DJ Trackstar, it was over an hour of moshing, jumping and ‘bow throwing in the crowd.  Which is exactly what Run the Jewels is all about: cutting up, letting loose, giving not a nan one fuck, then going back to your 9-5 gig and home to your babies.  But these dudes aren’t just wilin’ out.  In a (unfairly) rare display of masculine affection, the homies took the time to acknowledge a collaboration that’s blossomed into a true friendship.  The product of that friendship was grandly displayed on that stage through their complementary rhyming styles and their engagement of the audience.  Never a waning moment, the crowd went stupid when Big Boi came out for “Banana Clipper.”  Unfortunately, his mic sabotaged his appearance and we heard no bars.  His face in the place was good enough for most though.

Along with “Banana Clipper,” the guys pulled damn near all of their two album discography out, including “Sea Legs,” “Blockbuster Night,” “36″ Chain,” “Lie, Cheat, Steal,” and still some more.

Moral of this story: if Run the Jewels comes banging through your city this year and next, you would be a damn fool not to check them out.

number five

 

I’m convinced there aren’t many things Jean Grae can’t do, artistically.  Hell, probably generally too.  Usually on her cool rapper shit, Jean has decided to do some cool singer shit on her new EP #5.  Still full of witty, relatable lyricism and quirky production (alllll by Jean Greasy), this new EP is sexy enough for cuffing season and chill enough for alone time.  Available for streaming but you should just buy it.

Divided Time

 

Images of Black single mothers and daddyless Black children are constantly saturating our media outlets.  We’ve heard the narrative for so long that we begin to perpetuate this thought and go along with the misrepresentation.  Hip hop is very much a deep thread in the Black community, woven in many facets of our daily lives.  As a male-dominated industry, we rarely hear the stories of these men being fathers, along with rappers, producers and students of the hip hop game.  Will Feagins Jr. means to steer the conversation and the narrative to a topic that is seldom discussed in a mainstream platform.  Divided Time highlights the fatherhoods of independent artists Abyss, Arablak, Damaja D, Ekundayo, Jawz of Life, mikeflo, Snub Zero, Stanza, and Supastition.  The men discuss their relationships with their children, the hard choices they’ve made balancing their music dreams and building their families, the examples of fatherhood they witnessed growing up, and what hip hop means to them as parents.

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When Killer Mike enlisted El-P to take over the production on his 2012 album, R.A.P. Music, hip hop was not fully prepared for what that collaboration would come to beget.  Soon, the duo birthed Run the Jewels and really fucked folks’ heads up.  Their self-titled debut was an immediate favorite amongst critics and fans of the rappers.  So, it’s no surprise that their follow-up was highly anticipated.  Behold, Run the Jewels 2.  Originally set to drop on October 27, the early leak had the Internet going wild.  And rightfully so.  This project is quintessential hip hop: raw lyrics, experimental production, and varying concepts.  What I dig most about this album is the range of the topics and unexpected but appropriate collaborations.  Folks like Gangsta Boo, Travis Barker, and Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha all show up and show out.  Audio Gumbo’s favorite tracks: Blockbuster Night Part 1, Angel Duster and Love Again (Akinyele Back).

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I won’t lie: I melt over a good hip hop love song.  A smooth beat, intimate lyrics and slick wordplay are the best ways to romance my heart.  “Land of Passion,” produced by Dublohskytzo, from Yamin Semali’s latest project Senior Dues, speaks to all these facets of  soul connectedness.  Produced by B.K. Jackson and Mike Robertson, the visuals are warm and inviting, showing Yamin chillin’ with his lady, sharing in her space, vibing to her vinyl collection.  Get into it below and pick up that Senior Dues here!

 

Make sure you “like” Audio Gumbo on Facebook to keep up!

Video  —  Posted: October 14, 2014 in Alternative, ATL Love, Hip Hop, New Video
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Every Friday someone asks me, “what’s happ’nin’ this weekend??”  This will be the place for you to find out.  If you have an event you’d like to submit to be featured, email me with the subject “Event Submission.”  I’ll feature it, along with other events happening within the same time frame. If it’s particularly dope, I’ll feature a more detailed write-up of your event.

(Right now, most events featured will be in Atlanta, since that’s my base.  I’m open to events country and world-wide though!)


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A3C Vol 4

 

 

What better time to emerge from my hiatus than with this new joint from blctxt and producer King I Divine?  In the midst of a turbulent sociopolitical time, “The Roots” is a thoughtful narrative reflecting this nation’s unjust timeline.  “I’m a mortal man that wishes he had answers/I’ma have some kids I hope that they stand up/to the man with the gun in his hands/whose agenda is to wipe them off earth cuz he can.”  Over King I Divine’s hypnotic sounds, blctxt’s insightful lyrics can’t help but resonate with folks that understand this struggle.

 

This song is from the A3C Vol. 4 compilation mix, which dropped today.  The mix is full of dope artists: new ones you need to know and familiar ones you’ve been diggin’ for a minute.  You can stream it here and cop it here.