RTJ4, the latest album from El-P and Killer Mike, dropped early in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States.
No question it's the time for this record, a savage evolutionary moment for the American people. Confronting a militarized police state rolling armoured fleets through neighbourhoods. Firing on people in their own homes.
With an aspiring authoritarian president clearing out peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets for a photo op in front of St John’s Church on June 1, 2020. Walking from the White House with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley, and attempting to order national guard troops to unleash chaos and death upon Americans across the country.
A full fledged attempt to install fascism.
During a pandemic and facing formidable opposition, this vision from downtown Los Angeles, May 31 is straight up inspiring. Seeing surging crowds moving against the police. Moments like this come rarely in history, it’s astonishing to see. The people will be heard. Monuments to white supremacist history are being torn down.
The extreme violence brought by police in US streets made it look like a country under attack from within. It’s been documented in long twitter threads of police firing on trapped crowds, firing tear gas, clubbing heads, targeting reporters on live television. Hypernormalisation with a Twilight Zone economy printing trillions from thin air, stumbling and failing in response to Covid19.
Run The Jewels captured the zeitgeist, Ooh LA LA was filmed right before the pandemic shutdowns. Visions of burning worthless cash in the streets. Seems about right.
JU$T [ft. Pharrell Williams and Zach de la Rocha] is beyond prescient. One can imagine the music and art that will emerge later in the year. Resisting authoritarianism is what's happening.
Mastered economics 'cause you took yourself from squalor (slave)
Mastered academics 'cause your grades say you a scholar (slave)
Mastered Instagram 'cause you can instigate a follow (shit)
Look at all these slave masters posin' on yo' dollar (get it, yeah)