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  • Writer's pictureJamie Varley

We Antagonist Bad Guys

The Album

Run The Jewels

You will find yourself way more irritable and unpleasant after listening to Run The Jewels… and you'll kind of like it.

I had the misfortune of being on vacation when this album dropped in 2013. The plan was to relax on the beach and avoid UV rays turning me into a 200-pound gala apple. But there was no going back when I got my first taste of RTJ. The rest of vacation included yelling, kicking things, and a big, f*****g pottymouth. And it felt better than any time on the beach ever would.

The album is built off the unapologetic attitudes of two of rap’s veteran statesmen whose careers aged like fine wine. Killer Mike’s career had just found a resurgence in 2012’s hard-as-nails masterpiece R.A.P. Music, but he had been grinding out under the radar albums since the spotlight first shone on him on OutKast’s Grammy winning “The Whole World” at the turn of the century. El-P had long been creeping around the underground New York rap scene dropping underappreciated gems, whether on his own (Fantastic Damage) or as part of the storied group Company Flow (Funcrusher Plus).

Each had long and steady careers, but neither was happy with the lack of exposure due to what the rap game had become. So instead of making an album to fit the hip-hop norms of the day, they grabbed the genre by the ankle and dragged it back to the streets.

Mike and Jamie go bar for bar over El-P’s breakneck beats that make Rick Rubin tracks sound like Coldplay. Each emcee try and out-“not give a s**t” each other, leading to a lyrical masterclass exploring how what life would look like if the duo were the kings of a Purge-like world. And man, it’s fun.


The Food

Jerk Chicken

Tender street food with a kick, jerk chicken will leave you sweating and your mouth watering, but keep you coming back for more. Jerk chicken (or jerk anything, really) describes the process of cooking foods in spices derived from native Jamaican cuisine, often over a wood fire. It is smoky, juicy, and tingly, and quite literally makes you cry it’s so good.

That is why coleslaw is such a vital component of this meal. Think of it as the mouth bath, to extinguish the flames and give you a sweet coolness, briefly, until you gnaw at the next drumstick.

The marinade is the most important part, owing the majority of its flavour to Scotch bonnet peppers. These nasty little beasts have on average 45 times the heat of jalapeno peppers, singing you with an unparalleled heat while keeping their distinct flavour.

And as mentioned, if you can try and get these on a grill. I used my camping grill stacked high with charcoal, and the smoked flavours went a long way to contribute to this dish.

A hard-earned beer does an excellent job of slicing through the slice as well.

Experience at your own expense.


The Experience

Name a better combination than jerk and two jerks. This experience is abrasive and aggressive but at the same time very refreshing. During the experience, you will feel wound up and your heart will be racing, but when things are done, and you’ve settled down you will feel so fresh and clear.

It provides a backdrop for a release of pent up anger and frustration that has built up over a long time and ends with a smile. Like yelling from the top of a mountain.

The reason for this is that the experience has humble beginnings whose paths have regularly intertwined with pain. Jerk is said to have been born out of desperation by escaped slaves in the wilderness of Jamaica. Eating it was basic survival, even if it has become a delicacy today.

Killer Mike was born to teenage parents and was really raised by his grandfather, who he alludes to in a handful of his songs. El-P’s dad left him and saw himself cycle through schools after multiple expulsions, having a difficult time dealing with authority. Each think that the art that raised them and quite possibly saved their lives has been mistreated and abused over the years, leaving but a glimpse of its former glory. They set out to make an album that pays homage to the golden era of hip hop while slandering the genre in its current incarnation and anyone who sells out to make music for the fame.

This is a harsh experience that everyone needs once in a while. Too often are we lost and blindly following without thinking and letting your fears of standing out or making a statement get the best of you. The power of the experience forces you to drop your guard, let your emotions out, reset, and come back stronger than ever. And man is it fun to do.

The powers that be even offered up reprieves Told us they ain't take us out if we bow to our knees But they can give that to the kings and Queens and the worshipers of idols and followers of things Cause I would rather be in the jungle with the savages It's kill or be killed and I'm working with the averages



I CANNOT REPEAT ENOUGH - grill that chicken. And let it marinate for a long time to let those juices set in.

Make the coleslaw extra creamy, trust me it'll be refreshing.

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