Many people who are infinitely smarter than I am have covered the downsides and insidious parts of capitalism. There are whole books about that, so I’m not going to cover it in one paragraph. The short version is that the single-minded pursuit of money is gross, exploitative, and often damaging to the underprivileged amongst us. It’s that notion that is conveyed in New York band BODEGA‘s new single, “Can’t Knock The Hustle.” BODEGA–made up of vocalists Ben Hozier and Nikki Belfiglio, drummer Montana Simone, guitarist Madison Velding-Vandam, and bassist Heather Elle–also announced their debut album Endless Scroll is coming this summer.
“Can’t Knock The Hustle” relies on a chunky riff and wailing guitars to create a suitably antagonistic feeling for the critique Hozier and Belfiglio are leveling. Namely, in a world where mega-corporations are doing everything they can to siphon as much money as possible, it’s hard to knock individuals for doing all they can to survive and prosper. The vocals are delivered in a manner that’s part singing, slam poetry, and protest yell all rolled into one.
There’s also a video, which includes lots of ice cream (more background on that in a second). While ice cream is normally amazing, the aesthetic of the video and the confrontational nature of the song makes this ice cream thoroughly unsettling and off-putting. I mean that in the best possible way.
Asked about the song, Hozier said in a press release “A few years ago I found myself working at an obnoxious soft serve shoppe in Union Square with this great Jamaican guy named Steven, who was an aspiring rapper. We used to engage in strange late-night Socratic discussions and the day Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail came out he led me into a whirlpool of a syllogism that lead to the disastrous results heard on the track. Lesson learned: logic means nothing without context (in this case, Jay-Z’s). Unfortunately, the premise that ’capital=beyond critique’ is mostly considered sound in our artificially sweetened augmented-reality world.”
You can watch the video for BODEGA’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle” above. The band’s debut album Endless Scroll is set for release on June 1 on label What’s Your Rupture?