By Ellie Muraca
November 11th, 2014
Charlottesville is known for hosting a large variety of talented, popular artists, from Taylor Swift to Macklemore. However the ‘Ville isn’t limited to just pop stars. Local artists such as the Hill and Wood host small concerts at the Garage downtown for free, providing a perfect ending to a perfect day. Alternative music not your thing? Fear not. Now, Charlottesville is bringing in new genres of music to their venues. Not pop, not folk, but hip hop.
Who specially you may ask?
None other than the rap group Run the Jewels.
Created by rappers Killer Mike and El-P, Run the Jewels created a new basis for rap groups. Their first album Run the Jewels released in 2013 as a free download, and was an immediate success. The album featured no collaborations, but rather an experimentation with their artistic ability.
Picture Credits: http://southboundfestival.com.au/artist/run-jewels/
Their second album Run the Jewels 2 consisted of many collaborations with artists such as Boots and Travis Barker. The track list consisted of songs ranging from topics of heartbreak to police brutality in their song Early where Killer Mike pleads “Please don’t lock me up in front of my kids/and in front of my wife/now he got a gun and a knife”.
“Killer Mike and El-P are just incredibly unique,” student Owen Zoll says. “They bring new ideas to the table.”
Owen attended the Run the Jewels concert at the Jefferson in Downtown Charlottesville on Sunday, November 2nd.
The concert consisted of two openers in addition to the main show, Despot and Ratking. Despot is a 32 year old rapper from Queens, New York City. He signed to El-P’s label Definitive Jux in 2004. Ratking is a hip hop group from Harlem, New York City formed in 2011. Their debut album So it Goes was released in April of 2014.
The concert nearly sold out at the Jefferson, and has proved that there is a growing interest in hip hop culture here in Charlottesville. Does this mean that C’ville concert venues will start to book more hip hop artists? Run the Jewels fans vote yes.
“Judging upon the turnout (at the RTJ concert), I really do hope this encourages more rap artists to be booked here,” Owen Zoll says, a hopeful look spreading across his face. “I think it’ll help represent all forms of music and culture and make Charlottesville an even more diverse community.”