Music For the Sole! Run The Jewels - RTJ3
It's Monday. You want some new music. Let's get in to it.
It is crazy to think that after 3 years of solid gold releases El-P and Killer Mike's career defining project-cum-rap leviathan Run the Jewels (RTJ) has thrust them in to a spotlight that transcends rap itself, especially when you consider both gentlemen had a solid 10+ year career as a figurehead of their respected Hip/Hop/Rap genre.
Atlanta's own Killer Mike worked heavily with OutKast on their early releases through features, winning a Grammy alongside Big Boi and Andre 3000 for his feature on 'The Whole World', and topping the charts with his second single A.D.I.D.A.S.
EL-P on the other hand has been New York's premier underground purveyor of Hip/Hop through his label, Definitive Juxtapostion (Featuring artists such as Aesop Rock,Cannibal Ox, Del the Funky Homosapien, Despot, Mr.Lif and RJD2), his production for nearly every one of the labels artist (Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein is one of the best produced records of all time) and his own solo releases.
2012 saw both El-P and Mike work on one another's solo releases, El-P producing all of R.A.P. Music for Mike, and Mike featuring on bunch of cuts from El-P's Cancer 4 Cure, so it was no surprise to see the unlikely duo partner up as Run The Jewels and release their eponymous debut at the end of 2013.
Their socially conscious and political releases have seen them championed as alternative music's front runners. Not many groups can consistently use a formula of hilarious one liners, politically driven cries and furious sub bass addled beats to force their agenda down the throats of their audience, but third album in and El and Mike are furious at stuff again.
Highlights from RTJ3 include the low bass rumbling on Call Ticketron, Mike going double time on his raps, the unlikely hook of 'Run the Jewels live at the Garden' coming straight from the Madison Square Garden's Ticketron line. 'Hey Kids(Bumaye)' finds RTJ and frequent collaborator Danny Brown trading bars over a heavy beat, Brown's verse at the end being typically perverse and nasal, but non the less a welcome switch up to Mike and El-P's straight delivery.
The Masterpiece of RTJ 3 is the two part ender 'A Report to the Shareholders/Kill Your Masters', beginning with El-P's analysis of what he thought RTJ would be for him, and how that idea has completely changed. From an ego stroking critically acclaimed release, to (arguably) the greatest Rap Duo alive. The production has it's major and minor swooshes, as it finds itself in the final act, Kill Your Masters. RTJ have recapped what they've done, where they've been to get here and now what they want you to do. For them, there's been too much said and not enough done, and now they want people to rise up. Nothing typifys this more than former Rage Against the Machine vocalist's raging final verse, the anger seething. The final verse Kill Your Masters rings out in unison. In this current political climate, it's hard not to think who or what they may be referring to.