“Punk has always had a political conscience,” Justin Norton wrote earlier this year when miraculously inducting Frankenchrist into the Decibel Hall of Fame. “But no one articulated the stakes like Dead Kennedys.”
If you want to see the reverberations of that conscience, look no further than “DK3,” the latest track from Philly punk/hip hop crossover outfit Old City which samples “California Uber Alles” by Dead Kennedys, “London Calling” by The Clash, and Nas’ “If I Ruled The World” beat. (We previously interviewed Old City about their process here.)
A few thoughts from Old City, who are exclusively premiering the track here today, are below…
“When it’s crunchtime I break fast and skate past the police,” boasts Old City’s Tr38cho (aka Tre Marsh) in their Philly adapted version of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. The bongo-laced instrumental sets a backdrop that is sped through by its narrator as he aimlessly runs through a not-so-fictional dystopia with no sense of time or direction. Like Ellison’s 1952 novel, DK3 paints a scene that casually displays the social and political issues of its time but consumedly tearing it apart on a skateboard.
[“DK3”] is set to be released on May 13th, the 37th anniversary of the MOVE bombing by the Philadelphia Police Department where 11 people were killed, including five children. 65 homes were destroyed in an ensuing blaze that was intentionally let burn a neighborhood down. One adult and one child survived, and to this day no one from the city government has been criminally charged.