RJD2 is one of the best artists you’ll never know.
An ultimate beat guru with proven potential to reach the masses, it’s a shame he doesn’t have more of a household name. Such is the music game, you can be the hottest thing out – but when you’re ahead of your time – life sometimes has a nasty way of looking past you. Wednesday night though, not a note was missed, as Ramble Jon Krohn (Dudes real name is Ramble people. RAMBLE.) brought his genius back to Brooklyn Bowl to get down.
Proven Potential? What’s that ish all about? Killin it since his Deadringer debut, he’s influenced our culture more than you know. That album was dropped on El-P’s Definitive Jux label back in ’02 among roster mates which included the best underground hip-hop talent of the era, Jon Ramble included (see what I did there). And you all know what El-P’s been up to since, so there’s that as well. Don Draper can thank him for the now famous Mad Men intro, he’s collaborated with the likes of Aesop Rock, the mighty Mos Def and Yo Lo Tengo. So you can throw out the doubts now, his resume checks out with a place in history that he’s establishing show to show.
On this night he rocked out most of the oldies, which includes the Mad Men theme mention above, “The Horror,” and of course “Ghostwriter.” A new take on this night though, was RJD2’s collaboration with cellist Dave Eggar. This is what you have to respect about a guy like Ramble. He brings out a cellist in the middle of what most would call a hip-hop set for lack of a better term while giving zero…Love me a good turntable ho down, but Tiesto, Calvin Harris, even your boy Skrillex – none of them are pushing the envelope in this aspect (Skrillex will eventually). And I do think some of their music is art, most definitely, but they’re not at this level yet. May never get here. Dave and RJD2 performed “Making Days Longer,” which featured a rare vocal performance by RJD2 himself. The willingness to put himself out there like that, to alienate his audience to an extent – an act of greatness.
I’m not quite sure when I’ll see him again, but I left this show knowing that on the inside I can push a little harder and wanting to do more. We all can.
Writer | Rene Ramirez
Video | Elizabeth Ramirez