When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They’re not stereotypes. They’re people – complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they’re exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They’ve already fought their ways past their judgements and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it.
I am really proud of where we ended up, and I am very thankful that our actors Shea Whigham and Keith Stanfield committed to these characters 100%. They breathed complex life into two people who are usually portrayed in simplistic ways – as archetypes. I can tell you it was an emotional shoot day. It is tough to re-create moments that are so fresh and prevalent in our world today. It affected all of us in deep ways. But I believe that it is important that the way we feel when we see these events in real life has an effect on us. That we resonate with what we know to be right and we don’t numb ourselves out so those feelings can simply be swept away, we must confront them and take some action, however small, or we’ll be stuck in the same cycle of violence and hate.
From Killer Mike:
This video represents the futile and exhausting existence of a purgatory-like law enforcement system. There is no neat solution at the end because there is no neat solution in the real world. However, there is an opportunity to dialogue and change the way communities are policed in this country. Salutes to AG Rojas for his unique take on the subject matter and to Shea and Keith for giving us their all and bringing it to life.
This is a vision of a seemingly never-ending struggle whose participants are pitted against each other by forces originating outside of themselves.
I’m not sure if you guys are aware, but Run the Jewels 2 was the best album of 2014. Killer Mike and El-P, a rap duo from Atlanta and Brooklyn, respectively, put out an album full of anger and hurt in a time when the country was (and still is) reeling from Ferguson and Eric Garner and a whole mess of other shit. They take on cops and politicians and the competition with checked rage and they remind us how little has truly changed. It’s beautifully depressing. If this is new to you, start with “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” [ft. Zack De La Rocha].
I’m not the only person who feels this way. Pretty much everyone agrees with me. And if you’ve talked to me within the last 3 months or have peeped my Spotify, you know that this album has been on repeat in my life. But that’s not what I’m here to tell you.
I’m here to tell you about Marvel and Deadpool and Howard the Duck. Because they also love RTJ. They love it so much that Howard the Duck #2 and Deadpool #45 will come with variant covers where Marvel characters are seen posing with RTJ’s gun-and-fist logo (above). Check ’em out:
BUT THIS IS NOT THE ONLY RUN THE JEWELS NEWS I HAVE FOR YOU ALL.
Does everyone remember Brucie? I wrote about their Beyonce-themed Valentine’s Day menu in 2014 and this year they are featuring a Kimye menu that is both weird and clever. Brokelyn (which is one of my fave Brooklyn-based blogs) has been advocating for an El-P themed menu for years, and their hard work has finally paid off. They received the following email from Brucie owner and head chef Zahra Tangorra:
Thanks so much for featuring our Kim & Kanye Vday!! I noticed the proposal at the end to create a “Run the Jewels 2″ menu……… challenge excepted! I grew up on a healthy breakfast of Def Jux. Know some of those cats pretty well. So consider it done, Brucie will be making a Run the Jewels 2 menu March 6th. Think “Company Dough-nuts.” Ask and you shall receive!!!
Brokelyn then goes on to propose “Bisque In Her Mouth All Day” which is really just fantastic. I came up with “Lie, Cheat, Veal” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Duck).”
Also, you guys should read about “Meow the Jewels” because it is the internet at it’s best. Get it.
So I’m super into Robyn these days (and by these days I mean always). I love her collabs with Röyksopp and now they’re going on tour and releasing a mini album!! All of which results in AWESOME songs like this, which I’ve been listening to on repeat for about 2.5 weeks. I suggest you do the same.
So yes, that is “Bound 2” by Kanye, but with beefed up bass and drums. And I am LOVING this remix. Actually, I’m not sure if this counts as a remix because this version was re-recorded with a different singer to replace the Charlie WIlson vocals. Whatever, I love it. The video is fun and is pretty much a visual depiction of what I want my summer to be. Unfortunately, it’s not on Spotify so I’m putting it here so I remember it exists.
(I’m compiling my Summer Jamz 2014 playlist today, so expect more #jotd’s. Also taking suggestions.)