Chicago rappers Jed Sed and Walter J. Liveharder transcend the Wes Anderson fandom of their duo O.R. They? | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Chicago rappers Jed Sed and Walter J. Liveharder transcend the Wes Anderson fandom of their duo O.R. They? 

click to enlarge O.R. They?

O.R. They?

Courtesy of Artist

Hip-hop has a great way of encouraging nerdiness. By that I don’t mean nerdcore, a rap subgenre so focused on geek culture that it reeks like a Trekkie who’s stayed at C2E2 too long to shower between days. I’m talking about how accepting the hip-hop community can be of people who are singularly focused on cultural artifacts that the outside world considers niche at best. Which brings me to Chicago rap duo O.R. They?, easily the world’s best hip-hop homage to director Wes Anderson. Jed Sed and Walter J. Liveharder named their project after a line from Rushmore: it’s what protagonist Max Fischer considers a witty response to the O.R. scrubs worn by an imagined romantic rival. But while Jed and Walter are clearly enamored with Anderson, they’re not hamstrung by their fandom. On their new self-released EPs, Either They Can't Hear Us, or They Don't Understand Vol. 1 and 2, the duo deploy a barrage of pop-culture references (only occasionally to Anderson movies) to color their vision of Chicago—a place where locals still call the tallest building the Sears Tower and where Wicker Park officially died with the closing of Rodan in 2015. And whether or not your take on the city lines up with theirs, it’s hard not to be charmed by O.R. They?’s wacky, rubbery raps and self-deprecating lines about falling asleep to Point Break.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Popular Stories