Aretha Franklin

Run the Jewels Announce 'Stay Gold' IPA, Keep Reppin' Bernie Sanders on 'Daily Show'

Courtesy of Comedy Central
Run the Jewels and Trevor Noah on The Daily Show.

Run the Jewels had a very simple explanation for how, as Trevor Noah termed it, they stay "woke" and keep it "real hip-hop" during their appearance Tuesday night on The Daily Show: weed, "lots of it." But, in keeping with Killer Mike and El-P's thoughtful indulgence, they also had a pretty deep explanation for how they manage to keep their message tight while also keeping their eyes open. 

"To be woke is to smoke," Mike joked, explaining that he became a big supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign because of his lifelong ties to patriotic action, starting with his activism beginning at age 6. And, of course, Bernie's pro-legalization stance.

"When I saw Sanders tweet that one of the first things he would do was restore the Voting Rights Act, when he talked about decriminalizing marijuana, taking it off the Schedule I list, which is something I thought our former president should have done too," Mike said of how he was sold on the former Democratic presidential candidate's message.

Mike also broke down how marijuana got criminalized in the first place, touching on what he explained was the racist drive in 1937 to go after black jazz musicians to keep them away from white women and a battle between the hemp industry and loggers. "I'm tired of us being a pawn in this wicked game. I saw a candidate who I thought represented not only my community, but the bigger community in terms of class beyond color and culture and I rolled with him fiercely," he said.

The pair definitely felt like their second album was snubbed at this year's Grammys, but they promised that next year will be theirs to shine. "We were [snubbed], absolutely," Mike said. "We coming back next year, though."

El-P also broke down how the duo ended up deciding to give their music away, explaining that after running the label Def Jux for a decade and seeing how the traditional CD-selling music industry model was falling down around them, they decided to pursue a new path. "We kind of did the first record just as a thank you to fans," he explained. "We didn't want to look at the first week's sales. We didn't want to compete, we just wanted to give it away... we just didn't want to play the game."

On top of all that, the duo just launched their second special batch beer, the North East style IPA Stay G-O-L-D from Interboro Spirits & Ales, named after one of the tracks from their RTJ3 album. Check out the video describing the genesis of the brew that hit taps over the weekend.