Zack De La Rocha and El-P

One of the magical things about Run The Jewels, the free-online album that El-P and Killer Mike made together last year, was how sui generis it was — two snarling rap dudes with disparate backgrounds but similar ideas coming together, shutting out all outside influences, and coming up with some of the meanest and funnest and most immediate music they could conjure. That first album only had a couple of outside guests: A verse from Mike’s old OutKast mentor Big Boi, a quick string of absurdist come-ons from De La Soul producer Prince Paul, nothing else. El and Mike have been working on a Run The Jewels follow-up for a whole, and from the looks of things, it won’t be quite so free of outside influence. In fact, a couple of bona fide rock stars might be helping out on it.

As Pitchfork points out, various Instagram accounts have shown Mike and El in the studio with Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha (who I guess is technically a rapper, but come on) and Blink-182 drummer/reality show star Travis Barker. It seems possible that these two guys were just there to hang out and absorb some crushing skronk-rap vibes, but if they are actually appearing on the record, I would not necessarily consider that to be a positive. El isn’t the type of producer who needs live drums on his tracks, and De La Rocha’s history of showing up on rap songs isn’t exactly a distinguished one.

Still, I don’t see any reason not to have absolute faith in El and Mike. These guys get together and magical things happen.

Comments (8)
  1. El-P did incorporate The Mars Volta into “Tasmanian Pain Coaster” seamlessly. I’m sure he’ll find a subtle way to add Zach & Mr. Barker to the mix.

    • I hear what you’re saying but it’s still arresting to see the word ‘subtle’ in there with El-P, The Mars Volta, Zach De La Rocha and Travis Barker.

  2. I think this is evidence that as a guest rapper Zach De La Rocha works well sometimes!

  3. I was happy to hear Tom Morello pop up in the Boss’s new song. Every time Zach De La Rocha’s name shows up in the press I get a little hopeful for some kind of resurgence, even if it’s just the occasional verse. I’ve kind of tempered my expectations to the point where this is probably just another once-a-year lame ZDLR appearance, then I think of a song like Reagan and I get all ‘well what if’ again.‎

    A ZDLR collab on a track like that could have some potential, right?

    Maybe they’ll feature him a little more than Deltron did:

  4. This blogger’s dismissal of Zach as an MC is alarming and just furthers my concern for the credibility of this site. Zach de la rocha will fit just fine on a run the jewels record.

  5. Does Stereogum pay royalties to Pitchfork?

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