Album Preview: The Black Keys – Blakroc

by David Price on September 15, 2009

No, not Blakroc City.  Just Blakroc.

No, not Blakroc City. Just Blakroc.

It’s called BlakRoc, and it has just got me all hot and bothered because it’s apparently real. Back on June 4 Jim Jones tweeted, “I’m on my way to meet the black keys a new rock n roll group then summer jam rehearsal lg.” However, there was no proof that anything was really happening in that studio. Were the Black Keys really holing themselves up in there working on a rap-rock fusion project?

We didn’t have a fucking clue. That is, we didn’t until September 14. That was when “Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)” found its way to the internet. It’s been on repeat in my iTunes ever since. Based on what I have read, the track is not going to be on the album that will find its way into record stores (remember those?) on November 27.

BlakRoc should not be considered a side project. It boasts an impressive guest list: Mos Def, Rza, Jim Jones, Nikki Wray, Billy Danze, Raekwon, Pharoae Monch, Q-tip, Noe, Ludacris and the late ODB. In fact, I think that the only person it’s missing is Lil’ Wayne, but it’s likely because he’s got his own rap-rock project going on.

Heavily backed by Damon Dash (for street cred), BlakRoc looks promising, not like other rap-rock projects. (Here’s a hint: “Prom Queen” is a terrible song!). You can catch the trailer for this record on

What’s going to make this project work is that no one is really crossing over. Rappers aren’t trying to play a guitar, nor is Dan Auerbach trying to bust a flow. Although that would be interesting, I don’t think it’s going to happen. What I do think will happen is that we’ll see a nice piece of work from a collective of established artists in their respective fields that won’t be super hyped up and exploited by popularity.

Keep an eye out for this album because, even though Damon Dash stated that this project needs to be a “good business model and lucrative,” I don’t think it will be super popular, because it’s kind of impossible to tour when there are 11 tracks featuring 11 artists, especially when one of them is dead, not to mention that none of the artists has a big name.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Caroline September 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I wouldn’t attribute the not touring/popularity to the fact that none of the artist have a big name (which I think all come with their own respective fans). On the contrary I think they could tour, however, what would their target audience be? It’s a bit of a novelty act which would probably only attract weirdos like us. Not necessarily a huge market. I’d peg this project to play festivals and the like.


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