Run The Jewels - 'Talk To Me'

The hip-hop world revving up, it seems. Yesterday offered up new Drake and new music from Run The Jewels, too!

The eclectic duo of El-P and Killer Mike are back with 'Talk To Me,' the first new song they've shared this year. It's part of Adult Swim's Singles Program running for the next month, and is to be featured on their upcoming effort Run The Jewels 3.

'Talk To Me' is everything you'd want and expect of Run The Jewels. It begins ominously with pounding, brassy synths and an urgent beat with a sort of cartoonish panic in them. The bassy synth carries the low end of the track as various synths and samples sound throughout the track to help carry its slamming nature. There's lots of interesting moments throughout it, including the awesome end where the instrumental distorts itself before it's taken over by powerful scratching.

Killer Mike has been heavily delving into politics this election cycle, and his frustrations of it become clear in 'Talk To Me.' Right from the get-go, he's slamming Donald Trump, the lines "Went to war with the devil and shaytan / He wore a bad toupee and a spray tan" featuring in the first verse. El-P's verses are just as politically charged, the second verse spitting "Brave men didn't die face down in the Vietnam mud so I could not style on you / I didn't walk uphill both ways to the booth and back to not wile on you / You think baby Jesus killed Hitler just so I'd whisper?" The song's badass nature sends one succinct message: don't mess with RTJ.

Run The Jewels have been hyping up their third album for awhile, and we've all been waiting at the edge of our seats. It's been a long wait, but's almost over. An interlude in the song says "I told y'all suckers, I told y'all suckers. I told y'all on RTJ1, then I told ya again on RTJ2, and you still ain't believe me. So here we go, RTJ3," foreshadowing that their third record isn't losing any momentum or character. If anything, it'll be bigger than the previous ones were. We're ready for it.

Rating: 87 / 100

Zack de la Rocha - 'digging for windows'

It seems Rage Against The Machine is coming back this year in every way except a reunion. After Tom Morello and co. formed Prophets Of Rage earlier this year, their former lead singer has been busy at work making his own tunes. Zack de la Rocha is finally here with his debut single, 'digging for windows'.

It's safe to say that the song is better than a majority of Prophets Of Rage's debut EP (see our review here). It's not perfect, though. It has a lot of swagger and an interesting electronic based instrumental. It's reminiscent of RATM's typical in-your-face vibe, but not in the same flavor. 'digging' depends on thick, distorted synths with the subtle additions of backing guitars and synth arpeggios later on. It's a less chaotic Death Grips song, really. It definitely has the punk vibe paired with it, though.

Zach de la Rocha may have been out of the game for awhile, but he sounds just as energetic and angry as he was in his prime. It was seen when he featured on Run The Jewels' 'Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)' on 2014's Run The Jewels 2 that de la Rocha wasn't out of the game just yet. Coincidentally, it was El-P from RTG who produced the track! The production of the track is perhaps one of its highlights; it's electronic and experimental hip-hop with just enough anger to still give it the punk rock vibes from RATM. 

The song is pretty upfront with the lyrics; in fact, it starts off with him saying that he isn't here for cheerful lyrics - he's in it for some madness: "Fuck that bright shit / The spot or the flashlights / We in L.A. ducking both / In the shadows with lead pipes." The song deals with the narrator being caught by the cops and being taken to prison as well as falling into hard and unfavorable situations in life. He's angry at the corruption of it all, and calls out the big corporates: "Rise every time my cherry glows / On the end of my cig as / The smoke blows through the bars / And the C.O.’s laugh fades / As he strolls away / Says I gotta pay / Off that roll away / Or it's fuck your visitation days." The lyrics are edgy enough to harken back to that angsty yet relevant tone that RATM always had. 

Prophets Of Rage has nothing on Zack. They may cover Rage Against The Machine, but they're missing the main man that made the songs so real. The song has been confirmed to be the lead single of a yet-to-be-announced LP, and this song shows a lot of positive signs. 'digging for windows' is a great return to music for Zack de la Rocha. Now, we wait. This is the true return of Rage Against The Machine - not in the way we expected it, or necessarily wanted it, but the way we needed it. 

Rating: 81 / 100