Jack Riedy sadly does not own a wicker chair.
Plenty of rappers give back to the community after they’ve made it big and moved away, but Mani Jurdan is doing that work from the jump. The 23-year-old rapper represents Austin, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side, and he dropped the single “Revolutionary Suicide” last month while prepping his next project Dead Or Alive for later this spring. The track’s title, cribbed from Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton’s autobiography, points to Jurdan’s ambitions. He’s still talking shit, but he brags about fighting with fists instead of guns and disses those who blow their money on jewelry when there’s people in the neighborhood going hungry.
Jurdan and his peers in the collective HUEY Gang run a hip-hop club for kids at a local after-school program, and to its credit, “Revolutionary Suicide” sounds like the ominous beats kids have been whipping up on bootleg copies of FL Studio for years. Twenty years ago, Jurdan might have rapped over clavinet loops and rimshots on a Lyricist Lounge disc, but this decade drill is the default even for conscious MCs. The synth chimes on Sinawtra’s production only rise and fall by a semitone, like a bell warped in sub-Arctic temperatures. Jurdan sounds haughty with the chill in his breath, dissing CPD and all other opposition.
After all Daniel Hernandez ripped off from Chicago during his brief reign as hip-hop’s clown prince, it’s so satisfying to hear Jurdan spit “Who the fuck is 69, man I thought that was a red line stop”.
The beat trips over itself in the last fifteen seconds, the snares suddenly hitting on the offbeats. Jurdan follows along, snapping right back into pocket on the next bar. “Revolutionary Suicide” is like a great punk seven-inch: venom, radical politics, and a perfectly executed loss of control in less than two minutes.