On 6/10 Sole & DJ Pain 1 independently released DEATHDRIVE, a collaboration that seeks to combine the pop-hip-hop aesthetic with revolutionary, anti-capitalist sentiment. Sole, indie hip-hop pioneer and certified platinum producer DJ Pain 1 created an album that Spin Magazine says, " forge a strong partnership that finds Sole at his most clear-headed and sharp-tongued, spitting agit-prop anarchist heat over trapped percussion, chopped soul snippets, and classic turntable scratch."
The Death Drive is a concept thought up by Sigmund Freud who wrongfully attested that human beings race towards their own destruction to return to a state of non-being. While on the surface this reading of the Death Drive may ring true to some, but the Death Drive theory that is represented here is the one put forth by Beaudillard, that it is civilization, not man that imposes this suicidal nature.
The first real shots fired for DEATHDRIVE was the near viral success of DIY video; "Fuck Alex Jones" which is an attack on right wing libertarianism and conspiracy culture. Sole's essay about "The Alex Jones Industrial Complex" has been shared over 13,000 times. Fuck Alex Jones appeared on the "Warfare" EP which was released as a primer for DEATHDRIVE.
While DEATHDRIVE evokes golden era political rap records like X-Clan, Boogie Down Productions or Public Enemy, its clearly an update on what a socially conscious rap record can sound like in 2014. The approach of Death Drive is not cheap sloganeering or pandering, its challenging and analytical, and that is why it is embraced by radical movements, organizers, and academics worldwide. From making dance songs about the Iraq War (Baghdad Shake), ballads to the death of the liberal class (Hey Liberals), refutations of rap's culture of competition over cooperation (Rap Game Darwin), to reflections on religion (Old Gods Ain't Dead), Death Drive proves that critical reflection can actually make for unique, necessary and engaging music, that bumps on the battlefield and in the club.
Much has been made of the fact that this album is a sort of "collision of worlds." The truth is both artists have radical views and are engaged in local activist projects designed to empower people. Both artists grew up on music like NWA and Public Enemy, and both seek to maximize the medium of rap for the public good.
Since the album's release, Sole was featured on RT's Breaking The Set for a in depth interview and performance of "Baghdad Shake" and "Hey Liberals." Death Drive has also been featured in Spin, Tinymixtapes, Alarm Magazine, Skinny UK, Rap Reviews, Penny Black Music, Get Your Buzz Up, and more.