Run the Jewels depict the harsh realities of urban violence and racism in “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite),” the propulsive first single from the soundtrack to Shan Nicholson’s recent documentary Rubble Kings. The film chronicles the gang violence of Seventies New York City – and how hip-hop culture arose from that setting.
Killer Mike and El-P touch on those themes on “Dynamite,” rapping about a city “surrounded by violence and murder,” where “everything out here is broken.” The track, driven by skittering programming and distorted loops, incorporates samples of a man talking about street weapons, including the titular explosive. “Dynamite” is available as a free download at the Adult Swim Singles site.
The Rubble Kings soundtrack is out October 30th via Mass Appeal Records. The set, produced by Little Shalimar, also features Bun B, Mr. Muthafuin’ Exquire, Ka, Roxiny and more. Rubble Kings explores the prevalent gang violence of the Bronx in the 1970s – and how the warring groups made peace in the decade, paving the way for the birth of rap. “Hip-hop culture was birthed from gang culture,” Rubble Kings executive producer David Kennedy told Rolling Stone. “The competitive spirit in hip-hop, whether it’s rapping, breaking or [spreading] graffiti all comes from the roots of gang culture, and how the gangs were territorial. Most of the founding fathers of hip-hop were ex–gang members.”
Run the Jewels’ most recent LP of new material is 2014’s widely acclaimed Run the Jewels 2. Last month, the duo released Meow the Jewels, a cat-sampling remix edition of that album, as a free download. The album – which originated following a fan’s viral-friendly Kickstarter campaign, with all proceeds benefitting the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner – features guest producers and artists like Just Blaze, Snoop Dogg, Prince Paul, the Alchemist, Dan the Automater, Boots, Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, Zola Jesus and Massive Attack’s 3D.
Killer Mike and El-P also announced a fur-covered double-LP version of Meow the Jewels for late November, with all profits benefitting charity. Last week, the group released a hilarious video for Just Blaze’s “Oh My Darling” remix, which features mutant cats destroying New York City.