In a summer when rap icons are dropping albums left and right, it’s easy for some records to get overlooked. That is not the case though with Run the Jewels, a collaboration between El-P and Killer Mike. This duo is holding its ground when it comes to being contenders for best hip hop album of the year. These two names might not be known by the average radio listener but to the true hip hop heads these names are synonymous with greatness. You want beats? Run the Jewels is jam packed with trunk rattling tunes. Looking for insightful lyrics? These two have a better vocabulary than Scrabble champions.
The title track starts off this rumpus. “Run the Jewels” not only sets the bar for the remainder of the tracks, but it also sets the tone. The following track, “Banana Clipper” featuring Big Boi is a great example of the contrast between these two MCs. El-P’s bars display his intricate rhyme schemes while Killer Mike unleashes his raw delivery showing he has one of the most powerful voices in the game. When Mike says the line, “Producer gave me a beat said it’s the beat of the year / I said El –P didn’t do it so get it the fuck out of here,” you not only believe him, but for a second, you feel sorry for the producer who approached him.
The pair takes a slight diversion from the straightforwardness with a little tongue-in-cheek on the track “Twin Hype.” Prince Paul makes a guest appearance as Chest Rockwell, a creepy pervert dropping disturbing pick up lines in-between verses. El- P also takes this as an opportunity to tell the world about his fetishes in the line “I slap and I suck clits / I fuck in my church shoes.”
Run The Jewels is the caliber of a record most acts dream of making. It’s solid from beginning to end. You won’t see high profile stars contributing on track after track or million dollar promotional events. Instead, what you will get are two guys using their natural talent to the best of their ability.