I took my cousin Nacho to see Run the Jewels last night. He’s only here for a month so I figured I’d surprise him with a very American experience, a rap concert.

Openers are rarely more than filler but Gangsta Boo and The Gaslamp Killer both made me a fan of their music. Gaslamp Killer especially. He made magic happen with his DJ booth.

“My grandmother’s Syrian,” he said. “My grandfather’s Turkish. If it wasn’t for this government, I wouldn’t be here. We will survive this shit. This country was made by immigrants. Latinos and Latinas, African Americans, Chinese, Arabs, we built this shit.”

He killed the rest of his set until Killer Mike and El-P finally took the stage.

They tore through a few songs then paused to thank the crowd for their support and love over the years. Then they were back at it, playing my favorites from all three of their albums. Besides amazing talent, they’ve got an inspirational message. Progress comes from struggle and empathy and love. Everyone cheered when El-P said, “These fuckers that lie, cheat, and steal, they won’t ever win.” It wasn’t long until we all chanted, “Fuck Donald Trump.”

William S. Burroughs, author of one of my favorite books Naked Lunch, said, “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.”

Run the Jewels, with talent and conviction, make the world a better place with their honest art.

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