Music

DJ Shadow feat. Run the Jewels - "Nobody Speak" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Derick Daily

DJ Shadow's electronic beats add an extra layer of cinematic thrill to the track, giving us the no-holds-barred musical catharsis we all deserve for sticking it out through 2016.

Adriane Pontecorvo: In a year marked by outrageous, over-the-top political tensions, both locally and globally, it's beyond satisfying to watch a video centered on politicians that go from a rap battle to a full-on intergovernmental brawl, especially with such a strong song to back up the action. Nobody holds back here; Run the Jewels' rapping takes hard, dirty swipes at Trump, your momma, and anyone else in the way while blues arpeggios evoke wild west showdowns and trumpets back up every dramatic moment. DJ Shadow's electronic beats add an extra layer of cinematic thrill to the track, giving us the no-holds-barred musical catharsis we all deserve for sticking it out through 2016. [10/10]

Paul Carr: I could happily listen to this on repeat for a week. The participation of Run the Jewels seems to have brought the best out of DJ Shadow. He creates a masterfully playful backdrop for Run the Jewels to really let loose. EL-P and Killer Mike sound like they are having an absolute ball. They trade and spar cutting couplets like hip hop heavyweights at the top of their game. Their often laugh out loud lyrics hide a serious message about authoritarian repression but do so without being at all contrived. This is one of those occasions where the artists involved feed off each other to create something genuinely breathtaking. [9/10]

Andrew Paschal: Though billed only as a featured artist, Run the Jewels dominate "Nobody Speak", with DJ Shadow's production coming across as oddly anonymous and indistinct in his own track. Still, the overall product is compelling and entertaining if nothing else. "Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest" is a jaw-dropping and kind of disturbing line, ostensibly designed to match a jaw-dropping and kind of (very) disturbing candidacy. It's also one of the few clues as to the larger political intent and topical focus of the song, echoed in the very silly but also entertaining music video. [6/10]

Michael Pementel: DJ Shadow lays down some jungle inspired hip-hop with some trumpets that make for a great banger. Bits of spiral loop effects and guitar twangs are added throughout to make this a straight out of the gates thrill. It goes from banger to brutal though once you add the spitting skills of Run the Jewels; to be clear, both Shadow and Run the Jewels make this an "A" track. I couldn't help but bob my head from the second the beat kicked in. [9/10]

Landon MacDonald: During a week where the DJ as an artist is being questioned in one of our biggest cities, DJ Shadow is as necessary as ever. "Nobody Speak" has a great repeating line that echoes between guitar and bass and Run the Jewels rapping over top. Seeing as their repeating line is “Nobody speak, nobody get choked”, perhaps I should leave it with this... it starts off promising, but ultimately has no movement. [5/10]

Morgan Y. Evans: El-P's opening bars paired with the mismatched video footage made me choke on my own spit laughing. While not as good as the opening "I like white folks, but I don't like you", of YG's anti-Trump crucial blast "FDT", Run the Jewels certainly make a bold entrance over this smooth and funky Shadow jam and stay fully in charge of their current red hot streak. Seriously, this video though. I don't even want to spoil it. This may be the funkiest you'll ever feel after experiencing an inspired mash up of American political practice gridlock and battle rap flows delivered with all the aggression of a hardcore show. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: It's great to see a legend like DJ Shadow teaming up with highly acclaimed relative newcomers Run the Jewels. Shadow's sampling is once again on point, incorporating old and new sounds to create a unique collage, danceable and experimental at the same time. Run the Jewels are their usual profane, over-the-top selves and the combination is nothing short of stellar. I don't normally comment on the video content in these reviews, but this is an exception. The video is just plain stunning. [9/10]

William Sutton: DJ Shadow was wise to channel the spirit of El-P on "Nobody Speak", utilising heavy, crunching beats and electronic breakdowns to provide the platform for the two MCs to prove why they have become one of the most vital groups in modern hip-hop. Whilst not showcasing their most intense or insightful wordplay, the duo seem to be enjoying themselves bouncing off each other as well as ever. Shadows production takes second place throughout as it complements and contrasts their flows in equal measure. [7/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Let it be known that I've been a ravaging Company Flow fan since the '90s and it broke my heart when Len, Big Juss, and El-P called it quits. After being a Weathermen and some phenomenal solo records enter the ultimate tag team of El-Producto and Atlanta's Killer Mike as Run the Jewels -- enter the legendary DJ Shadow to remind cats how it's done and it's a 2016 dose of REAL hip-hop. There are still a few mixing it up for the nether regions of the art, before it died and came back as whatever the hell these dudes are wearing and talking about these days. The chorus an obvious nod to Eric Garner and the senseless killing in our streets. Politically poisoned arrow heads visually spewed by crusty politicians to only nail home the fervor. The video speaks volumes but the lyrics need to be ingested, coerced, and pondered. We are all the problem, imperfection is impeccable. [9/10]

SCORE: 8.11

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