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Same Old New School 9: RTJ4, Bruce Lee, And Dave Chappelle

Written by on June 16, 2020

Every Monday at 8:30 p.m. Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin take over Vocalo’s IG Live to look at how hip-hop intersects with culture, politics, fashion and more. It’s a half-hour of hip-hop, laughs and wisdom from some of the best guys in the game. It’s Same Old New School.

After a delightful conversation about new puppies and nitro-coffee, the two dove into a conversation about the new album from Run The Jewels, hip hop’s spiritual godfather (Bruce Lee), and Dave Chappelle’s new special “8:46.”

Watch the full episode above, or stream it below at the end of the article.


Run The Jewels Return

Before diving into their response to RTJ4, Goodwin and Coval discuss what the other duo means to them personally. Specifically, they love the flavor of the ‘muddy-blues’ sound that the group brings to hip hop, as well as their innate contrast and complimentary nature.

Then Coval and Goodwin split on opinion:

“For me, this is probably my favorite record of theirs, front-to-back,” said Coval.

“That’s funny cause it’s my least favorite!” laughed Goodwin.

While Goodwin did reassure fans that yes, the album is still good and the group is good at what they do, he said that he thinks the difference in taste has more to do with the fact that his life is so digital right now – in this moment – that the timing doesn’t work for him.

“It’s not like I dislike it, but it feels…it just didn’t surprise me,” he said.

On the other hand, Coval agrees that while it was rushed to the moment, there are no skip-able songs on the record. And while Killer Mike has noticeably taken heat for some of his bars on this record, Coval says he really is just airing feelings that’s indicative of the way many people are feeling right now.

The two ended this segment with a quick discussion on how El-P is “the greatest White in rap,” and compared his similarities and differences to Eminem. Then, they settle on the idea that he’s “the greatest accomplices.”

GQ-Credit_ Bruce Lee Family Archive-060920

Bruce Lee’s “Be Water”

Goodwin began by listing off the spiritual godfathers of hip hop – the people that the originators of hip hop were trying to emulate. This includes Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Gil Scott Heron and Bruce Lee.

Then they asked the question: Why is Bruce Lee mad hip hop?

“First of all,” said Coval, “He is consciously creating […] to counter colonialism.”

Furthermore, he’s in the literal same spaces as the early Black Panthers and their spirits of defiance and community. And finally, his films are played on repeat for the poorer and latchkey kids who could resonate.

Goodwin agreed and brought up the flavor of growing up with both American and Hong Kong backdrops, as well as the intuitive style and philosophy that Lee brought.


Dave Chappelle’s “8:46” Special

To wrap up the episode, Goodwin brought up another hip hop spiritual godfather: Dave Chappelle. Perhaps the first hip hop comedian, he has a new special out titled “8:46.”

“The need for comedy and commentary is what he provided in ‘8:46’,” said Coval.

The two believe that Chappelle is entering the space of being such a good storyteller that we, as an audience, sign up to witness his point of view and his truth. From his callback-circularity to his layering, as the pandemic makes America smaller, Chappelle is able to help connect us all even further.

Tune in on IG Live every Monday at 8:30 p.m. for more episodes

Written by Shelby Kluver

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