Longtime FADER readers and marginally aware New Yorkers are no doubt familiar with The Rub, the legendary Brooklyn party now in its second decade. (Next one is June 29th at the Bell House.) With umpteen mixtapes under their belts, DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven released the first ever original The Rub EP this week. Buy it on iTunes, download their celebratory FADER mix and then read an interview with the pair, including DJ Ayres’ deft, preliminary analysis of Yeezus as Kanye’s becoming-a-dad album and DJ Eleven’s best breakfast recipe.
Download: The Rub’s FADER Mix
Why did you decide to release your first The Rub EP now? AYRES: It didn’t occur to us to do it before, even though we’ve both been producing music separately for years. The Rub was a party first and a DJ crew second, and even though we’ve been collaborating on mixtapes and online radio and tours and all that for forever, we were working on our record labels separately and never thought of combining efforts until this release. Which is kind of dumb since it’s an obvious next step for us. But also when we do something as The Rub, it has to live up to a certain level of expectations so we spent a long time on this getting it right, because we wanted to make sure we had music that we would feel 100 percent confident in playing at the party. ELEVEN: Pretty much what Ayres said, but I think the last point is worth expanding on a little bit. Whether we’re talking mix projects or booking guests for the monthly party at the Bell House or working with new designers, we feel a tremendous amount of pressure to make sure we do things just right. We have people who’ve been coming to the party regularly for almost 11 years now and people who are die-hard supporters of our releases, and we want to make sure they still have a great time while they’re supporting us while we’re trying to push their comfort zone ever so slightly. It’s a challenge for us, but we set the bar high so we’re happy to stand on our tippy toes to try and reach it.
What’s your takeaway on Yeezus so far? AYRES: Well it just came out today, so it hasn’t really had a chance to soak in, but having listened to the album all the way through a couple of times, I’m a little split. Part of me feels like it’s sort of manufactured rage, like it’s not coming from a 100 percent authentic place, and it’s a ploy for attention. I get how as an artist, he wants to push himself and push the boundaries of pop music and all that stuff, and I think musically it’s really interesting in a lot of places, but also it’s a guy who’s getting older trying to make music for teenagers. It’s kind of weird for a new dad to make “Fuck you, Dad!” music. Since he made this record while he was waiting for his baby to be born, there may have been this feeling of getting older and this is his way of pushing back against that, like “See, I’m still the avante-garde cutting edge young rap dude, I’m not settling down!” Also when you’re expecting a baby, as a man, your version of the nesting instinct is to bang out your work shit as fast as you can before the baby gets here, because you’re afraid you won’t be able to get it done once the baby is born. Making a short, stripped-down concept album is definitely faster than a big sprawling collaborative thing like Watch The Throne. I’m really over-thinking it! But yeah it’s cool, I’m just eager for more music like “Mercy” and “N*ggas In Paris” that I can play at a party. Ask me what I think about the Daft Punk album LOL! ELEVEN: Musically, I find myself liking it a little more with each listen. He’s still an arrogant dick but for some reason it bothers me a little less on this album.
What are a few of your personal favorite summer jams this year?
The Rub – Dutty Gyal f. Natalie Storm (So Shifty Remix)
Katy B – What Your Love Is Made Of
Todd Terje – Strandbar (Samba Version)
Classixx – Stranger Love & All You’re Waiting For
Justin Timberlake – Let The Groove Get In (Sammy Bananas Remix)
The-Dream – Loving You Crazy
The Rub – Feel You f. Misun & Lil Fame of M.O.P. (Marco Polo Remix)
What food do you like to cook and how do you make it?
AYRES: Blackened Catfish
1. Put a cast iron skillet on the stove and turn the flame on as high as it will go for five minutes while you prep the fish.
2. Wash the fillets, pat them dry, pour melted butter on both sides and dump as much Paul Prudhomme’s Redfish Magic on as will stick to the fish
3. The pan is extremely hot now, so put the the fish in the pan and let it cook for three minutes on each side unless it is thick, then you’ll cook it for a minute or so longer.
4. While it’s cooking the kitchen has filled up with smoke and now the fire alarm is going off, so you’ll want to turn on the vent hood and point a fan out the window. Then wave a towel at the smoke detector but it’s going to go off again, so put a plastic bag over it with a rubber band to hold it in place, or just beat it to death with a broom stick.
5. Serve the fish with homemade cornbread, iceberg salad with a creamy dressing, and iced tea.
ELEVEN: Oatmeal with Spinach, Green Onions, and a Fried Egg
1. In a saucepan, cook steel cut oatmeal according to directions. Make sure to throw in a ½ teaspoon of salt per serving.
2. After the oatmeal is started, you’ve got time to do some chopping. For each serving, you’ll need a handful and a half of baby spinach and two green onions. Roughly chop the spinach and chop the green onion into small rounds, using both the white and green parts. Set aside and keep them separate.
3. When the oatmeal is 5 minutes from being done, melt a little bit of unsalted butter in a small non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Once the butter has foamed up and the foam has started to disappear, crack two eggs into the skillet.
4. Once the eggs are frying, throw the spinach in the pan with the oatmeal with a little more salt and some fresh ground black pepper. Stir the spinach in until it’s mostly wilted.
5. Add the green onions and stir some more to incorporate them. If the oatmeal is cooked through (ie: not crunchy anymore), take the pan off the stove. Ladle a serving into a low wide bowl, like a pasta bowl, and drizzle with Sriracha.
6. When the eggs are fried to your liking (you want the yoke to be runny), slide from the pan onto the Sriracha covered oatmeal. Bang!