Say what?!

East Coast Avengers wrong the right with ‘Kill Bill O’Reilly’
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  September 2, 2008

VIDEO: East Coast Avengers, "Dear Michelle Malkin"

Rapper Esoteric has been getting lots of death threats via e-mail recently. But he’s not too worried about them, if only because of their elementary character. “I would grade them all about a D-minus to a failure in terms of grammar, punctuation, spelling,” says this member of the new Boston-based hip-hop group East Coast Avengers. He forwards some of the messages. “I’m in bostown and u will die before ur cd out mutherfucker c u in hell,” reads one. Another: “It must suck to be a libral and have to wake up evry day of your pathetic lives. I will end that life.”

The animosity toward the underground MC is prompted by his group’s recently released Molotov cocktail of a track, “Kill Bill O’Reilly.” The song debuted on August 13 on Wired magazine’s music blog to a swirl of Internet outrage and has since been discussed on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. It’s about as subtle as a boot to the forehead. Over a soaring, cinematic beat from the group’s producer, DC the MIDI Alien, it advocates (metaphorically, Esoteric insists) the murder of The O’Reilly Factor’s host, as well as the shooting of right-wing political commentator Michelle Malkin. Their alleged crimes? Fact manipulation, racism, and sexism, for starters.

“Infrared to Bill O’Reilly’s head/That’s a key spot,” raps Esoteric. Adds the group’s other MC, Tha Trademarc: “Fuck make fun of you with punch lines/I’d rather kill your family in front of you by lunchtime/A one-line execution in sunshine.” The chorus? “We gotta dead ’em dead ’em. We gotta kill ’em kill ’em.”

That the right-wing blogosphere would go ballistic was the whole point. That Malkin herself would write about it was merely icing on the cake. “Well, I have a headache after listening to the new rap song ‘Kill Bill O’Reilly,’ ” she blogged shortly after its release, adding, “Don’t they have anything better to do? Rides to pimp? Ho’s to diss? Bling to steal?” (O’Reilly has not publicly discussed the song, and Fox News did not respond to the Phoenix’s request for comment.)

Perhaps East Coast Avengers’ greatest publicity coup was on Countdown, where Olbermann — himself a frequent over-the-top critic of O’Reilly — discussed the group in his “Worst Person in the World” segment. “Nobody’s life should be threatened, not even in the hyperbole of the moment,” he chastised. “Besides, you are rappers. You have better ethics than Bill O’Reilly does. Live up to them, don’t live down to him. Word to your mother.”

“He did everything but wink in his analysis of it,” coos Esoteric. “No logical-thinking person is going to go on record and say that they support murder and killing. So we were very happy to be on the show.”

East Coast Avengers formed earlier this year, with a common love of leftist politics, comic books, and right-coast rap. Known regionally for his duo 7L & Esoteric and his role in underground supergroup Army of the Pharaohs, Esoteric had already worked with Tha Trademarc on projects including Trademarc’s album with Trademarc’s cousin, WWE wrestler John Cena, You Can’t See Me, which hit #15 in 2005. DC the Midi Alien — an associate of common friend and rapper Termanology — came on board and at once they got to work on “Kill Bill O’Reilly,” whose title comes from a lyric off 7L & Esoteric’s 2006 album Moment of Rarities.

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