February 8, 2017

Chris Daly knows all about the Memphis beat.

As you may have heard, Run the Jewels had to cancel their original January 12th concert date in D.C. due to a water main breaking at the venue. Naturally, I had tickets to said concert and figured it would be months before they came back to town based on the fact that Killer Mike, El-P, and DJ Trackstar (not to mention tour mates The Gaslamp Killer, Gangsta Boo, Nick Hook and Cuz) had literally launched their world tour the night prior. This was not helped by rumors that the band had said they weren’t adding any dates to their already packed itinerary no matter what. So, naturally, they rescheduled for January 19th—the night before the presidential inauguration—flew in Zack de la Rocha for the encore and, by all accounts, tore shit the fuck up. Also naturally, I was out of town on the 19th and was unable to feel the funk firsthand while my ass sat on a plane returning from Memphis.

Well, if you can’t be live, you might as well go Memorex, right? While in town, the guys managed to swing by NPR and film a Tiny Desk Concert quite unlike any I’ve happened to watch in the past. Highlights include Jamie admonishing the NPR staff for not clapping on beat while he and Trackstar clearly are not, either; Mike muffing the lyrics a time or two; and El-P rhyming into a banana between shots of brown liquor that apparently had been “aging” in the NPR studios for the past eight years. Plus, who doesn’t love hearing “fuck” repeatedly on NPR? For those of us who won’t get to experience the “Run the World” tour firsthand, I suppose this is pretty decent consolation prize.