Tuesday July 16, 2013 | 8:00PM
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EL-P + Killer Mike = Run The Jewels w/ Despot, Kool A.D., and Jabee
El-P produced Killer Mike’s excellent 2012 album R.A.P. Music, and Killer Mike showed up on El-P’s excellent 2012 album Cancer For Cure. And now, that unlikely but excellent alliance marches on, as the two guys have formed a duo called Run The Jewels.

Event Schedule

Jabee

8:45 PM

Despot

9:15 PM

Kool A.D.

9:45 PM

EL-P

10:15 PM

Killer Mike

10:15 PM

Ticket Prices

General Admission

$20

Ticket sales ended Jul 16, 2013 7:00 PM. Additional tickets may be available at the box office.

Jabee | 8:45 PM
Oklahoma City rapper Jabee took an emotional scar from his childhood and turned it into gold.

Jabee, who performed three sets at the 2013 South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, is celebrating the release of “Stephanie,” his new single produced by alternative hip-hop star El-P.

But this golden moment in the emcee's career was made possible by an emotional setback. “Stephanie” was originally called “Super Ugly,” and it came from an insult hurled at Jabee by a middle school crush.

“When I was 11 years old, I liked this girl named Stephanie, and she called me ugly,” Jabee said while taking a break outside the 512, the Sixth Street bar that was ground zero for this year's Buffalo Lounge, the annual SXSW showcase for Oklahoma artists. “I think I've been carrying around that bitterness since I was 11. I wanted to tell a story, so I wrote a song like I was 11 years old but with the mind that I have now, so I could tell her who I would become and what I would be doing.”

Jabee had the subject and the verses ready to go, but he needed someone to put it all together. Since his teens, Jabee had been a fan of El-P, the rapper, producer and founder of the Definitive Jux label, and when asked during interviews what his dream collaboration would be, Jabee always mentioned El-P. After a few years of casual talk, Jabee sent El-P an instant message, formally asking him to produce a single.

“I said, ‘If I don't ask, I'll never know: would you consider doing a track with me?' He said, ‘Let's do it,' and I promise you that I was thinking, ‘This can't be for real.'” El-P sent Jabee a backing track he created during sessions for Killer Mike's acclaimed 2012 album, “R.A.P. Music,” but had ultimately set aside. In turn, Jabee asked his friend, North Carolina-based soul singer Carlitta Durand, to write a chorus for the song.

“She wrote an amazing hook,” Jabee said. “I sent El-P the vocals for that, and he changed it all — he made it a real song and went over and above what I asked. He mixed it and mastered it for me, a kid from Oklahoma City.”

El-P suggested that he rename the song “Stephanie,” which helped give the song more emotional resonance for Jabee. Then, Jabee found a way to use the Steven Jones-directed video, which included a bullying scene, to do some good for current 11-year-olds facing difficult social situations. After Taft Middle School teacher Emily Ray saw the video, she invited Jabee to speak at a March 8 school assembly.
Jabee talked to the Taft students about the many forms that bullying can take and how to deal with the issue.

Nowadays, the bad memories and big dreams of Jabee's childhood are coming together, thanks to El-P and the growing buzz around “Stephanie.”
“I'm just trying to work hard and be good at this rap thing,” Jabee said. “But I'm living my dream now. My dream, as a 15-year-old kid, was to work with El-P.” more >>>
Despot | 9:15 PM
I live in the kitchen. I have lived in this same kitchen for 25 years. I have been alive for 25 years. The kitchen that I live in is located in Queens. The apartment which contains said kitchen is also in Queens.† I do not approve of the way you are dressed. I am an upstanding member of the Lo-Lifes. I sometimes win but I often lose. You can help by throwing money and affection(money). Thank you.

†In this, the 25th year of my life, I have relocated to an apartment in bed stuy brooklyn. I have made it a point to live in close proximity to the kitchen, though I now have a bedroom. more >>>
Kool A.D. | 9:45 PM
Victor Vazquez, also known by his stage name Kool A.D., is an American rapper and singer from the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Vazquez is best known for being a member of the New York-based rap group Das Racist, though he is also a member of the bands Boy Crisis and Party Animal. Vazquez has also released his own solo material, including the 2012 mixtapes The Palm Wine Drinkard and 51.

Though originally hailing from California, Vazquez attended college at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. During his sophomore year at the college, Vazquez served as Himanshu Suri’s resident advisor.[1] Following graduation, Kool A.D. returned to Wesleyan several times to practice with a Boy Crisis bandmate, who still attended the university. It was during this time that he became friends with Suri, and following Suri’s graduation the two moved to New York City, where they shared an apartment.

Vazquez is of Afro-Cuban and Italian descent.[2]

With Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu serving as their hype man, Vazquez and Suri formed the rap group Das Racist. Das Racist first found success on the internet with their 2008 song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”, and then quickly established themselves within the underground rap scene with their 2010 mixtapes Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man, both of which earned them critical acclaim, including Pitchfork’s designation of “Best New Music” as well as spawning tours across North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2011, the duo released their first studio album, Relax

On January 3, 2012, Vazquez, using his stage name Kool A.D., released his debut solo mixtape The Palm Wine Drinkard, which was followed later that month by Suri’s own mixtape Nehru Jackets. The Palm Wine Drinkard, which featured several R&B tracks and other experimental music styles, received mixed reviews from critics. In April 2012, Vazquez released his second solo mixtape, 51, which received positive reviews from critics. more >>>
EL-P | 10:15 PM
El-P is a rapper and producer from Brooklyn, New York. He used to be in a group called Company Flow which put out some records that people liked. He started a record label called Definitive Jux which put out a bunch of other records people liked. He has released three solo rap albums, a jazz album, five instrumental albums, and has been on TV a bunch of times. He has produced records for many people. He has performed for many people. more >>>
Killer Mike | 10:15 PM
How many times have you heard someone complain that contemporary rap music lacks its modern day Public Enemy equivalent? You’ve probably said it yourself. We all have. But we need to stop. Yeah, Public Enemy is inviolate and irreplaceable, but Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music is the closest we’re going to get to an ideal soundtrack for a Do the Right Thing remake.

It’s no surprise that the beats come from Brooklyn, courtesy of El-P, a hip hop artist, producer and entrepreneur who is the borough’s resident laureate of urban apocalypse. Snares crash like abandoned buildings being blown up. Synthesizers ooze with a diseased glow of something dying in a toxic water supply. The effect is like a futuristic junkyard come to life. In the midst of the decay of post-industrial New York, Killer Mike, hip-hop inferno, pours fuel on the already inflamed.

For all the New York claustrophobia, the heart of the record barrels through I-20, Westside Atlanta, where Mike is both underground royalty and an entrepreneur with his own Barber Shop. Fittingly, he’s the city’s iteration of Ice Cube, universally respected and highly opinionated; the bridge spanning The Dungeon Family, Grand Hustle, and his own Grind Time Records. R.A.P. Music is a collision of north and south so savage that it could create a subduction zone.

“Scarface and Ice Cube are two of my favorite MCs and both made pilgrimages of a sort to New York,” Mike explains, back in his native Atlanta, which he left for a month to record in Brooklyn. “There’s a certain drive in soaking up the energy in the mecca of rap music, and working with El-P brought it out even more. It’s refreshing to find someone as cynical and paranoid as me.”

Like P.E., Cube, and Scarface, Mike possesses the rare ability to make music that’s smart, tough, and fearless. He is ferocious and honest. As he declares on the album’s first track, “we’re the readers of the books and the leaders of the crooks.”

The record’s genesis stems from a dialogue that Mike and Jason DeMarco at Adult Swim’s Williams Street Records began three years ago. United by a love of old school originality and new school ideas, the explicit goal was to create Mike’s own AmeriKKKA’s Most Wanted, Cube’s debut album after splitting with N.W.A., and no modern producer has done a more artful job of distilling the nitro-glycerine that the Bomb Squad had circa ’88.

Nearly a decade deep in the rap game, Mike has released five critically hailed records and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Outkast for the song “The Whole World.” But, in no uncertain terms, Mike will tell you that R.A.P. Music is his finest accomplishment. He’ll even call it a “classic.” Of course, every rapper calls every one of their albums a classic. The only difference is that Mike’s right.

“Until now, I’ve never really found the Killer Mike sound,” Mike admits. “But this time, I didn’t have to write a single rap. When the beats came on, I’d just start rapping. It was like I cut my wrist and the words just bled out. The chemistry was special.”

Not only does R.A.P. Music stand on its own as a stark document of the socio-economic discrepancies and racism that still plague America in 2011, it creates a kinetic soundtrack for our ever-present paranoia, fear, and loathing. The acronym in the title stands for “Rebellious African People’s Music” and it operates as a catchall container for Mike’s rage at everything from corporate chicanery to the fallout from the Reagan era. Although titled “R.A.P.,” it takes its influence from all genres that Blacks have rebelled through be it Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Rock or Funk. The title track expresses this fittingly.

“Rap was a vestige for black boys to learn the lessons that they’ve been robbed of because so many men were taken out of the community,” Mike thunders. “I make edutainment. I refuse to make any music that degrades me as a man. Rap made me study. Rap made me smarter. Rap made me harder.”

Even if you’re apolitical, R.A.P. Music operates flawlessly on that most basic rap level; it bangs hard out of any boom box, car stereo, or MP3 player. But if you think the modern rap world suffers because it spends too much time as the aural equivalent of Fox News, you’ll love R.A.P. Music. It’s the sound of a man stealing the remote control, kicking the TV down, and saying “Get up, go the f* outside and see the world for real!” more >>>