Run The Jewels is Hip-Hop’s new Best Tag-Team.
Run the Jewels 2 opens with Killer Mike roaring on the track with an almost Muhammad Ali-esque flow, shouting:
“I’m finna bang this bitch the fuck out!”
This intro sets the mood for what turns out to be an amazing album.
The collaborative project reunites Killer Mike and El-P. RTJ2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed mixtape Run the Jewels that came out last summer. The entire project is solely produced by El-P, a very bold move, shit like this is either hit or miss. Both artists have note worthy projects on their own: El’s Cancer for Cure and Mike’s R.A.P. Music were two of 2012’s most slept on releases. El-P’s production started to hit his stride around 2012, after working closely together on Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music, the two formed a bond that spawned a strong working relationship between them. They’ve become the Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger of hip hop with their blend of unorthodox beats and demented rhymes.
Mike and El push each other to new heights of lyrical greatness on each record. This is pound for fucking pound the strongest album either artist has ever been a part of.
Take Blockbuster Night part 1 for instance, Mike and El take turns maneuvering through the beat like a team of lyrical trapeze artists. Zack La Rocha the former Rage against the Machine front man is featured on Close your Eyes and he uses a more rap- centric styled flow then we are not used to hearing from him but it blends with the beat seamlessly. Mike shows his lyrical range by touching on serious subject matters on tracks, and gets real *ahem sexually explicit on the Gansta Boo assisted Love Again. Mike’s verse on All Due Respect actually made me ask myself “why is this dude so damn slept on?” I mean, his wordplay on this track made me replay the verse to myself about 20 times, not to mention Travis Barker going off in the drums — this is one of my favorite verses from the album:
“This year, we iller than a nun in a cumshot/ Getting double-penetrated in a dope spot/ By two hard pipe hittin’ niggas/ On the orders of Marcellus to the soundtrack of 2Pac/ I beat you to a pulp, no fiction/ Tarantino flow, new Jules (Jewels) and Vincent.”
This project is hip-hop’s breath of fresh air, and what they set out to accomplish is plain and simple… world domination. Everything is on their terms from production down to distribution, the perfect situation for aging hip-hop indie act like RTJ. El-P and Killer Mike are proving is that “old washed up underground rappers” still can make noise and gain recognition, without “selling out.” You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but old dogs will also never try to be something they aren’t. Run The Jewels 2 is straight hip hop and no gimmicks.