Finger-gun pose. Closed fist. These two images are synonymous with the identity of Run the Jewels in hip-hop. Since teaming up in 2011, the super-group, (comprised of Atlanta wordsmith Killer Mike and super-producer El-P) have released two critically acclaimed projects (2013’s Run the Jewels and 2014’s Run the Jewels 2). Now back with their third installment, Run the Jewels 3, Run The Jewels is hell-bent on giving us aggressive lyrics against gritty production in 2017.
El-P and Killer Mike have always had an organic chemistry on records but RTJ3 builds on their relationship as friends and collaborators. Each track is unique in its own way and lays the foundation of the group’s hard-core sound and witty humor. A track such as “Down” sounds like an OutKast and Linkin Park record with its high energy production and RTJ’s fast-paced lyrics.
“Dat boy be spitting that pressure,
“And he be smoking that pressure,
“And he smart as a professor”
Politics is a hot-button topic on songs such as “Talk To Me,” and “Legend.” Killer Mike campaigned aggressively for Bernie Sanders to win the White House during election season, which was admirable to a lot of young voters. Tracks such as “Call Ticketron,” “Stay Gold,” and “Panther Like a Panther” showcase the versatility that is ingrained in the two-man tandems core. Hip-hop, EDM, R&B, and more can all be heard on RTJ3. On this album, Killer Mike and El-P came prepared to kill every track in their sight.
Listen to Run the Jewels 3 on Spotify.