One year on from Michael Brown's death, Run The Jewels argue "riots work"
Much of rap duo Run The Jewels‘ recent output has focused heavily on police brutality in America, and the lively pair’s latest offering – a brief chat with the BBC on last year’s problems in St Louis, Missouri – is a continuation on a theme, arguing “riots work.”
Their quotes refer to the death of Michael Brown (18), an unarmed black teenager who was shot on August 9, 2014 by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting led to two waves of rioting and unrest, both in the days after the shooting and again in late November, when a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer involved.
“We are your fantasy utopian representation of race relations in the world,” the pair tell the BBC. The film features clips of Killer Mike talking about race on stage, and the pair’s experiences of “trying to get into St Louis when everyone else was trying get out as fast as they could,” shortly after last year’s problems.
The pair giving their own thoughts on race and the emotion of Ferguson is interspersed with footage of cars being turned over. You can watch the clip below:
Killer Mike’s assertions that the riots worked refer to several events that followed, including the retirement of a local police chief and increased representation for the black community on the local city council.
The band have plenty of previous on the subject, not least in their music. On ‘Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)’ for example, Killer Mike says “Where my thuggers and my crippers and my blooders and my brothers? When you niggas gon’ unite and kill the police, motherfuckers?”
Run The Jewels are currently touring Europe, and will appear at Reading and Leeds festivals over the August bank holiday weekend. The duo recently told NME that the third album, due in 2016, will be “the hardest shit you’ve ever heard.”