Zack De La Rocha of RATM Returns on Run The Jewels’ Furious New Track


Oh shit. Run The Jewels, the dynamically spitfire duo of Killer Mike and El-P, leans into the grind on “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck),” a new single from their forthcoming album RTJ2 premiered today on Buzzfeed. What’s really got our attention, though, is the cameo verse from the most viciously sharp sociopolitical lyricist of all time, Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine.

La Rocha has been all but a ghost since Rage’s last album over 14 years ago, including a one-stop EP with The Mars Volta’s Jon Theodore back in 2008 (but a full album was recorded, where the hell is it?). But on this track, Zack slips a knife in the side of the track, taking aim at the social degradations and authoritative chokeholds surrounding us in 2014. Check it out below.

“We worked on music together in the late ‘90’s after Rage broke up but it never came out,” El-P told Buzzfeed of the collaboration. “We remained friends, though, and when I was in L.A. working on the record I bumped in to him literally on the way to the studio. He came by and listened to what we had and a day later was recording with us.”

RTJ2 hits stores October 27 from Mass Appeal Records. In the meantime, we’ll continue to wonder how the hell the most insightfully and irascibly powerful lyricist of our generation could’ve fallen off the map in a decade where his abilities are more vitally necessary than ever before.

Whether with Rage, One Day as a Lion or on his own, ZDLR has been sorely – no, desperately – missed in the modern age of unchecked corruption in politics, law enforcement and capitalism, as confused complacency and warmly encouraged inertia fill the void of informed defiance. Couchbound clicktivism doesn’t mean shit if the kinetic activism isn’t there to support it. The majority of America has no idea how many wars we’re in, and would likely stutter themselves out of the room if tasked with pointing out half the countries we’re bombing on a map. Our political systems are more flagrantly in the pockets of corporate interests than ever before. A blizzard of misinformation completely clogs the pipelines of truth, creating a culture of vaguely informed populace intensely arguing distraction-bait minutia on social media, and tuning out of the effort after making their soapbox claims, on to the next clickbait cause. Has there ever been a time where we’ve needed that fire of truth and defiance to burn brighter?

No, there hasn’t.

“Terror’s the product you push / Sheep tremble, and here come the votes.”