RJD2 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


Top-flight turntablist and producer Rjd2 made his name as a hip-hop sampler virtuoso a la DJ Shadow, so it's no surprise he's taking heat from press and fans alike for moving from Def Jux to XL and from beats to pop on his latest, The Third Hand. And honestly, he's not doing himself any favors by trying to explain the new sound: "You know how guys break down once a year, and tell their friends that they love them, but they do it hella manly like?" he says in his press kit. "It's like that." But while he may not be the natural at the console that he is behind the steel wheels, The Third Hand--written, sung, played, and produced by Rj alone--is a pretty impressive effort from a fledgling pop-rock auteur. "Laws of the Gods" benefits from a jaunty Odessey and Oracle vibe, "Have Mercy" throws down some hooky soulfulness in a Phoenix vein, and "Someday" has a Lennonesque acoustic quietude that's a surprise even in such a free-ranging context. For this tour he's bringing a set of decks plus a four-piece band; Busdriver and Happy Chichester open. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $21, 18+.

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  → 

More by J. Niimi

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Henchpeople Jarvis Square Theater
July 09
Galleries & Museums
May 28

Popular Stories

  • Book It

    New and recent book releases from Chicago authors and publishers
  • A silence louder than words

    How allegations of sexual abuse exposed cracks in the foundation of Young Chicago Authors, Free Write Arts & Literacy, and the city’s spoken word community
  • Comedy is back, baby!

    A glimpse at how stand-ups coped during the pandemic and made their triumphant return to telling jokes again.
  • Black fatherhood

    Black men are rarely afforded the luxury of being seen as nurturers and caregivers.