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.
“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.”
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.