Jean Grae knows what boys like. When she isn’t espousing the tasty virtues of Marzipan or giving advice on how to break up with your girlfriend she’s dropping missives inspired by classic video games.

Her latest tapestry of lyrics, “Kill Screen,” is a self-produced magic rune that is setting up an album with the aptly comic-book flavored title Gotham Down.  For those of you born in the Clinton era, kill screens were the Holy Grail of 8-bit video gaming. If you played a game way past the point a programmer expected it to go (like the 256th level of Pac-Man) it would crash. Metaphor for a rap career? Maybe. Or we could totally be over-thinking it.

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“I watched The King of Kong and thoroughly both respected and understood [Donkey Kong master] Steve Wiebe’s drive and passion,” she told “I like rooting for the underdog. I understand being the underdog.”

Grae, who has been constructing another album, Cake Or Death, in an alternate dimension, says that Gotham Down will not usurp COD, but enhance it.

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“Gotham Down has the stories of a superhero gone rogue, turned villainous,” she explains. “What happened to make that occur? It’s darker in a different way than Cake or Death. I think all of our pasts, presents and future spaces are all intertwined, all folded into each other.”

Game on, Jean. Game on.

Listen and download  “Kill Screen” below:

Jean Grae Channels Donkey Kong On New Track, “Kill Screen” [AUDIO]  was originally published on

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