Zack de la Rocha returned on Thursday with his first new solo offering in over a decade. The rapper, known for his work with Rage Against the Machine, delivers bleak lines with claustrophobic urgency and stark force: “I stare at a future so toxic/ No trust in the dust of a promise/ Won’t mark the name on a ballot/ So they can be free to devour our options.” The song is the first off de la Rocha’s as-yet-untitled upcoming solo album, which is set for release sometime next year.
El-P produced “Digging For Windows,” utilizing a terse, bruising beat and sludgy, battering-ram bassline. Matt Sweeney contributed spindly guitar to the track, while Nick Hook provided “additional keys.” De la Rocha and El-P worked together in 2014 on “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck),” which appeared on Run the Jewels 2.
De la Rocha made his latest track available for free download on BitTorrent. “Thanks to the late Manuel Alvarez Bravo for creating the cover art photo,” the rapper wrote.
New solo music from De la Rocha has long been rumored. He released the One Day as a Lion EP in 2008 with Jon Theodore. He’s mostly stayed quiet since then, occasionally appearing on other artists’ records.
“He’s been working his ass off here in the last couple of years,” former Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford told Rolling Stone in 2015. “The kid is an amazing musician. He built a studio in his house, and he’s there all the time making a One Day as a Lion full album. That’s his band, and he’s a ‘one band’ kind of guy.”