DJ Shadow recruits a trio of rappers to issue a warning about social media surveillance and digital paranoia on the producer’s new track “Urgent, Important, Please Read,” the latest single off his upcoming double album Our Pathetic Age.
On the track, St. Louis rappers Rockwell Knuckles and Tef Poe along with Daemon plead with the listener to combat against a world that is becoming more and more dictated by technology and algorithms.
“Everyone wants to feel in control. In the same breath, they want to be told what they like and what they don’t. So it seems to me, this confusion is a human error. We keep allowing this to grow, the machines are gonna win,” they warn.
DJ Shadow’s ambitious Our Pathetic Age, due out November 15th, is divided into two parts; the first half is packed with instrumentals (like previous single “Rosie“), while the latter half features guests like Run the Jewels, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Nas and more delivering verses over Shadow-made beats; “Rocket Fuel,” with De La Soul, arrived earlier in the year.
In a previous statement, DJ Shadow explained how Our Pathetic Age captures “the mood of society as a whole,” from income inequality and homelessness to digital distraction and disaffection. “There’s songs that are inspired by this energy and seek to harness it, to make sense of it,” he said. “In some cases, there’s attempts to salve the wound; in others, the songs merely observe but don’t offer solutions. Despite the title, it’s a hopeful, vibrant album… there is always light in darkness. I want it to reflect the times we live in, a signpost in the ground to mark the era.”