Run the Jewels unveiled a new line of t-shirts that promote hand-washing and raise money for the hip-hop duo’s touring crew, which is out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the concert industry.
The shirts are based on the hand-washing memes inspired by WashYourLyrics.com, which allowed people to enter a song and receive an infograph of proper 20-second handwashing technique paired with that song’s lyrics. The RTJ shirts were designed by Nick Gazin and boast a similar diagram — although the hands are the monstrous ones that have appeared on each RTJ album so far — and lyrics from one of six different Run the Jewels tracks: “Ooh La La,” “Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck),” “Stay Gold,” “Oh My Darling,” “Hey Kids” and “Everybody Stay Calm.”
Run the Jewels were primed for a busy 2020, with plans to release their long-awaited album, Run the Jewels 4, and open for Rage Against the Machine on its reunion tour. The first half of that trek has since been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Run the Jewels have yet to announce a release date for RTJ4.
“For Run the Jewels one of the most difficult things has been our inability to provide our hard-working friends from the RTJ touring team the income they were counting on from our touring schedule to be able to survive,” the band said in a statement. “In the music business, no one has been hit harder than the amazing people that are behind the scenes, busting their ass to make the live performances happen. These T-shirts were created to help the men and women who are the backbone of every live performance we do while they wait to be able to work again. We love them very much.”
All of the proceeds from the shirt sales will go to members of the Run the Jewels touring crew. Each purchase will also come with a downloadable poster with an image to match that of the T-shirt selected.