Tag Archive: “Killer Mike”

The One Where Everything is Enjoyable

On this episode: our dear cousins talk about American Idol and Katy Perry, they get into God Talk early and keep talking about their history with religious institutions,

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One Where Everything is Enjoyable

Sir the Baptist feat. Killer Mike and ChurchPpl – Raise Hell from ____ out ___ on Atlantic

Lo Tom – Overboard from Lo Tom out July 14th on Barsuk

Jamilla Woods – Holy from HEAVN out now on Soundcloud with a proper release soon from Jagjaguwar

Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder from Hug of Thunder out July 7th on Arts & Crafts

(Sandy) Alex G – Bobby from Rocket out this Friday, May 19th on Domino

Danny Brown – Kool Aid from Silicon Valley: The Soundtrack out June 23rd on Mass Appeal Records

The Drums – Blood Under my Belt from “Abysmal Thoughts” out June 16th on Anti-

Lost Balloons – Numb from Hey Summer out June 16th on Dirtnap

Welcome to Future Sounds! Every Wednesday Ghettoblaster brings you a handful of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears. Below you’ll find songs that really stand out as essential listening. So please sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Zack de le Rocha – digging for windows

de le Rocha’s back baby! Former Rage Against The Machine and One Day As A Lion frontman has released his debut solo single, with an album due next year. Produced by Run The Jewels’ El-P, this song starts minimal with a fuzzy synth and drum pulse then develops with screeching guitars hits. This is a new sound for de la Rocha, still resembling his past projects, but more fresh with that El-P magic touch. “F*** that bright shit,” establishes right away that Zack is back and he’s not messing around. He’s still the master of revolutionary rhymes, painting a vivid picture of the corruption and inequality in our country, all verses coming back to the line, “These days is all night.” RATM fans have been waiting for this moment since Zack appeared on Run The Jewels’ Close Your Eyes and Count To F***, and now it’s finally arrived. No wonder Zack gave Prophets of Rage his blessing, he’s doing cool stuff with El-P. In this tumultuous election time it’s good to know that all member of RATM especially Zack are out fighting the good fight with their music.

Slaves – Take Control (Virgin EMI Records)

Speaking of revolution, English punk duo Slaves’ second album Take Control, is coming out Sept. 30 on Virgin EMI Records. When you go to the bands website their domain serves as a message: you are all slaves. On the title track they urge us to take control. The lyrics describing a daily routine with drummer Isaac Holman repeating the mantra “take control” between each line, until the chorus where frontman Laurie Vincent screams the order.This is everything you want from a punk song: it’s rough, it’s angry, and it has a killer guitar riff. Produced by the Beastie Boys’ Mike D, he had this to say about the album, ““I feel right now the world needs an album like this. Something that is more raw, more alive and less polished. I was impressed with the band’s strong point of view. They actually speak their minds about social topics.”

Tkay Maidza feat. Killer Mike – Carry On (Downtown, Interscope)

The debut album of Australian singer/rapper Tkay Maidza is out Oct. 28 on Downtown/Interscope. It will no doubt be an impressive debut judging by this latest cut from it featuring rap legend Killer Mike (clearly my goal was to get both members of Run The Jewels on the list somehow). This song starts with Tkay singing catchy synth-pop hook a la Robyn or Santigold. Producer Dann Hume composed a dynamic beat, with a perfect balance of catchy and chaotic. Tkay raps a verse about how fame can be exhausting because people try to take advantage of you. Tkay explains, “the song is me saying ‘there’s so many people coming round trying to steal something from me but I just want to have fun.’” So for the second verse Killer Mike steps in and gives her some advice and encouragement as Tkay puts it he, “acts as a big brother”. I’ve never seen something quite like this happen in a song it’s really awesome and kind of adorable. With Tkay’s talent and intellegence, and Killer Mike looking out for her I’m sure she’ll have a great career in music.

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – A 1000 Times (Glassnote Records)

When one of your favorite bands breaks up or a member leaves it’s always a bummer, but if you’re luck they’ll team up with a member from another one of those bands and make some more great music. That’s the case with former Vampire Weekend mastermind Rostam Batmanjiv and former Walkmen fronman Hamilton Leithauser. In the couple years, both have been doing some solid musical projects, and now they’ve joined for I Had A Dream That You Were Mine out Sept.23 on Glassnote. Rostam’s bouncy composition backs up Hamilton’s sharp, smokey vocals as he tells a story about love and loss. On this new project storytelling is very important to Rostam, “In some ways, the more that I write songs, the more I feel that telling a story is the most important thing; just being able to close your eyes when you hear some lyrics and go somewhere. It’s worth taking the time to do that, because people respond to it.” This duo is a hipster’s dream and this album will help soothe the pain of Rostam’s recent departure.

Mick Jenkins feat. BADBADNOTGOOD – Drowning (Cinematic Music Group) 

This is the latest single from Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins’ highly anticipated debut album, The Healing Component, out Sept. 23 via Cinematic Music Group. After appearing on their recent album, Jenkins features electronic jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD. The group have a history with hip hop, doing interpretations of songs and working with the likes of Ghostface Killah and Tyler The Creator. They provide backing instrumentals that begin with bass and woodblock creating a beat like the ticking of a clock. Mick sings, “When the real hold you down you supposed to drown right. Wait that don’t sound right.” Referencing Kanye’s Bound 2, but adding another meaning with Eric Garner’s final words serving as the eerie chorus, “I can’t breathe.” This song on the other hand does breathe, it takes it’s time. Mick eventually spits a killer verse, and 2/3s of the way through the band breaks into a funky jam before slowing back down for the ending. This is a relevant and important song and the accompanying video is extremely powerful and beautifully shot. This deep, pensive 6 minute song let’s us know that Mick is not your average rapper.


Emilyn Brodsky – Hands Off The Stove (Dead Stare Records)

Let’s end on an upbeat note with this bouncy, poppy tune from Emilyn Brodsky. With jangly guitar, smooth organ, and glorious horns this song is a lot of fun, yet with a weighty question at it’s core, “If you’re willing to kill is it really a good intention.”Emilyn told stereogum her inspiration for the sound, “I always wanted to write a huge New Pornographers style triumphant pop outro, so I made myself a chorus of horns and angels singing LALALALA to you.” Emilyn is known for quirky album concepts and titles, and her latest is Emilyn Brodsky’s Digestion out Oct. 14 on Dead Stare Records. This carries over to her lyrics, breaking the fourth wall at the end and declaring, “This is the end of the song.” Listening to this album will no doubt be a good time, now I’ll follow Emilyn’s lead and tell you, this is the end of the post.


This is Past Sounds. Every Friday Ghettoblaster Magazine is looking back and finding great music from various eras. Below are songs that sound great no matter what decade they’re played in. So strap in as we take a musical journey, back in time.

Midlake – Some of Them Were Superstitious  (Bamnan and Silvercork) 2004

Midlake is a magical indie-rock band from Texas, founded in 1999 by a group of friends and jazz students. This band seems to be less known than they should be, their second album The Trials of Van Occupanther, is an indie-rock masterpiece, relating life in the colonial times to our modern world. Midlake uses  the same instruments as any rock band, but their music feels like it’s from another time. This song comes from their debut album and it embodies this concept, with lyrics like, “parading round the town square,” and “praising monocled men,” paints this picture of an almost medieval setting. The almost cartoonish synths bounce along in the verse and a swirling organ provides the base for the epic chorus. The songs shifts to a sauntering piano and flute as the lyrics, “So soon, so soon, so long, and when you’re gone, you’re gone, and life it hurts for someone, you’re someone.” Midlake is masterful at tapping into ageless emotions while transporting the listener to another time and place.

The Beatles – Rocky Racoon (The Beatles [The White Album]) 1968

There’s this band from Liverpool they’re super underrated, they’re called The Beatles. Let’s face it folks there’s not too much more to be said about the biggest band in the history of music and the most highly regarded album of their career, but this song is so goofy and fun it deserves to be revisited. Just like Midlake transported us to olden times, this song takes us to the old west, describing and love triangle that leads to a shootout. Paul McCartney wrote this song while in India with John Lennon and folk legend Donovan. It was intended as a pastiche “spoofing the folk singer” with some fondness. This a dark comedy of a folk song, when that ragtime piano kicks in you can’t help but sing along, “D’do d’do d’do do do do, come on, Rocky boy.”

Outkast feat. Killer Mike – The Whole World (Big Boi and Dre Present…) 2001 

Before the Bernie rallies, before Run The Jewels, before R.A.P. Music, the world was introduced to Killer Mike with this song. When I was 11 years old this was my jam (though I had to listen to the clean version). Ragtime-type piano appears on this song, spun into a jazzy hip hop beat, kind of foreshadowing the style Outkast would explore in Idlewild a few years later. (sidenote: this song also has one of the best “to each their own” type phrases, “whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote”). In tandem with a goofy video, this song exists in a creepy circus setting, making a statement on the nature of entertainment, “and the whole world loves it when you’re in the news // and the whole world loves it when you sing the blues.”  It’s odd and fun, business as usual for Outkast, while being very insightful, it seems to be even more relevant now than it was 15 years ago.

Blind Pilot – One Red Thread (3 Rounds and a Sound) 2009

In celebration of Blind Pilot’s third album, And Then Like Lions out today on Expunged Records, I thought I would go back to the song that made me fall in love with the Portland folk rock septet. This song exemplifies Blind Pilot’s entire style, heart-wrenchingly honest and insightful folk songs with melodies that are absurdly catchy and beautiful. The subtle strumme of the acoustic guitar and gentle tap of a snare drive this song, until the slow soft chorus, which eventually regains momentum and ends in a restrained crescendo. This is a lovely song about finding your way in life. Much like OutKast’s song the chorus here captures a simple but powerful truth, “man, oh man, you can do what you want.”

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Maid of Orleans (

Going along with our theme of songs that transport us to other times and places, this song talks about Joan of Arc and is accompanied by a medieval video. It starts off with ominous, ambient sounds before bursting into an simple yet grand, building love song. Both electronic and physical drums guide this song with and driving thunder of toms and the occasional snare roll. This song does something really interesting with the strange 80’s keyboard and drum sounds we’re used to, all finally building to a glorious synth crescendo. I personally am turned off to a lot of 80’s music, but it’s always fun to find a gem like this one.

Fang Island – Life Coach (Fang Island) 2010

Let’s end this list right with a bright, rambunctious rock song from the Rhode Island-based band Fang Island’s debut album. Fang Island makes major key progressive indie-rock called by Pitchfork, “‘celebration rock’ before Celebration Rock” referring to the album by Japandroids, and that is the only term to describe this song, it is a juggernaut of positive energy. This song gets the listener hyped, it punches you in the face with fuzzy guitars and gorgeous choral harmonies from the groups three members. Much like Blind Pilot this is a song about finding your way through life, it is energy and fun from start to finish, and a modern indie-rock classic.


El-P and Killer Mike have confirmed that their debut as Run The Jewels drops June 26 via Fool’s Gold.  While the release will initially appear as a free download, it will also be pressed on limited-edition vinyl and on CD in July. You can pre-order the album here. The double-LP set will feature instrumentals from the entire album on the bonus disc.

Run the Jewels head out on the road for a summer tour.  Here are the dates:

7/10 Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Bluesfest *
?7/11 Toronto, ON – Hoxton *
?7/12 Mariaville, NY – Camb Bisco *
?7/13 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar *
?7/14 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival *
?7/16 Nashville, TN – Exit In *
?7/17 St. Louis, MO – Firebird *
?7/18 Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s Oasis *
?7/19 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater *
?7/20 Madison, WI – UW Memorial Union *
?7/21 Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Festival *
?7/24 Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room *
?7/25 Calgary, AB – Republik *
?7/26 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret *
?7/27 Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party *
?7/28 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre *
?7/30 San Francisco, CA – The Independent *
?8/1 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex *
?8/2 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory *
?8/3 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom *
?8/5 Austin, TX – Mohawk *
?8/6 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon *
?8/7 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade *
?8/8 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel *
?8/9 Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle *
?8/10 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
?8/12 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
?8/13 Boston, MA – Paradise *
?8/14 New York, NY – Webster Hall *

* with Despot, Kool AD

GZA heads out on a North American tour in September and he’s taking Killer Mike, Wavves’ Nathan Williams’ new Sweet Valley project, and Bear Hands with him.  Sweet Valley release Stay Calm on August 7 via Fool’s Gold.  Dates are below.

9/14 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom *
9/15 Toronto, Ontario – Soundstage *
9/16 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews *
9/17 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar *
9/18 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop *
9/19 Chicago, IL – Metro *
9/20 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue *
9/22 Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall *
9/25 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore *
9/26 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades *
9/28 Santa Ana, CA – Observatory *
9/29 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey *
9/30 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up *
10/2 Phoenix, AZ – Marquee *
10/18 New York, NY – Irving Plaza (CMJ) *

?* with Killer Mike, Sweet Valley, Bear Hands