Run the Jewels have shared a new live video for “Walking in the Snow,” one of the songs from their latest album RTJ4. The concert video was recorded on October 17, when the popular hip hop duo played their Holy Calamavote live stream performance to encourage voting and support the American Civil Liberties Union.
They played the stream with a full live show production, so the video involves lots of flashing blue lights, several cameras moving around and manufactured snow falling from the ceiling onto the stage. Rapper Killer Mike and featured vocalist Gangsta Boo (formerly of Three 6 Mafia) are suitably dressed for the cold with thick faux-fur coats. Rapper/producer El-P is wearing a thinner black jacket, but he already brought the heat when he made the instrumental for the track, an intense hardcore beat with lots of risers, sweeping fills and rhythm switchups.
The most powerful part of the performance is the pause after Killer Mike quotes Eric Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe.” It’s a considerably long break before Killer Mike goes on to rap the next verse without any accompanying instrumental. He calls out the listeners, “And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV/The most you give’s a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy/But truly the travesty, you’ve been robbed of your empathy/Replaced it with apathy, I wish I could magically/Fast forward the future so then you can face it/And see how fucked up it’ll be…” The rappers go through the next hook before the beat comes back in for the last stretch of the track.
Near the end of December, Run the Jewels shared an official music video for “Walking in the Snow” which shows Killer Mike and El-P as action heroes battling evil toys who are freezing the citizens of their toy village. The song was chosen as mxdwn’s Song of the Year for 2020, and RTJ4 was the runner-up for 2020 Album of the Year.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat