Spotlight: Run the Jewels

August 6, 2013 -

Hill Coulson

Step down Yeezus and Magna Carta... Holy Grail, because for today’s spotlight we have a strong contender for best hip-hop record of the year. The group’s name is Run the Jewels, composed of indie rap innovator El-P and OutKast associate (and Southern rap icon in his own right) Killer Mike. Released by the tastemakers over at A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records, the self-titled Run the Jewels LP is available as a free download on their website.

The album is an intersection of brooding 808 & synth-laced electronic beats and hardheaded, no-holds-barred raps that aim straight for the jugular. Sonically, El-P crafted an incredibly cohesive record. The production sounds as if a paranoid schizophrenic beatmaker locked himself in a damp basement in Brooklyn all summer and this was the result. The booming low end of the kick drums are complemented by skittering synth and percussive elements that mesh perfectly with the equally menacing raps.

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Content-wise, the lyrics don’t get much deeper than your typical braggadocio and posturing, but with lines like “Me and Mike’ll go Twin Hype and do a dance on your windpipes,” Run the Jewels’ boasts sound more self-assured than any other Rick Ross or A$AP Rocky of the moment. Plus, their last collaboration, Killer Mike’s critically acclaimed R.A.P. Music, showed that the two are more than capable of producing meaningful, political charged raps when they want to.

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So what do you think? Best rap album of the year or is it just hype? See for yourself when the Run the Jewels tour hits Philadelphia next Monday at Union Transfer. You can also catch the dastardly duo join PANTyRAiD, Koan Sound, and SuperVision as support for Bassnectar and Pretty Lights on their second-ever BassLights event in Miami.


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