I had become resigned to the fact that Killer Mike would never get the due recognition that he deserved for being such an ill MC. Ever since I heard his verse on “The Whole World” I knew he was something special but for whatever reason he never truly blew up like I thought he would. Who would have thought that in his 40’s, Killer Mike would find the fountain of youth by joining forces with the very underground, but very dope, El-P and gain his most mainstream success to date. Their first two albums were spectacular and showed what the two could be capable of, but with Run the Jewels 3 my expectations were through the roof that they’d perfect the formula.
“‘Cause kinfolk life is beautiful
And we ain’t gotta die for them other men
And I refuse to kill another human being
In the name of a government
‘Cause I don’t study war no more
I don’t hate the poor no more
Gettin’ more ain’t what’s more
Only thing more is the love”
Before they formed Run the Jewels, I wasn’t really familiar with El-P. I knew the name, but I couldn’t tell you a single song of his. I was criminally uninformed because his production is incredible. Fucking epic is the only real way to describe it. It’s this strange mix of electro and hip-hop that just works. Full of all these classic hip-hop kicks, snares, and scratches, paired with crazy synths that all come at you at breakneck speed. Their production is as aggressive and in your face as it can get and it had my whole set up rattling when I cranked it to the max. Seriously, blast “Legend Has It”, “Panther Like a Panther (Miracle Mix)”, or “Everybody Stay Calm” and apologize to your speakers later. Run the Jewels 3 is new age riot music and it hits soooo hard.
“Cookin’ up curses and slurs
Smokin’ my brain into mush
I became famous for flamin’ you fucks
Maimin’ my way through the brush
There is no training or taming of me and my bruh
Look like a man, but I’m animal raw”
Their lyrics on Run the Jewels 3 are as every bit as aggressive as the production. They approach classism, racism, oppression, and social issues with such a rage and ferocity that you have no choice but to listen to what they have to say, and they have a lot to say. They’re so engaging and the chemistry between the two is palpable as they trade bars and feed off each others’ energy. Killer Mike is an elite MC and El-P hangs right there with him every step of the way and they deliver some seriously memorable verses. They’ve cemented themselves as one of the greatest duos to ever do it, and they’re the gift that keeps on giving. Literally though, because they’re giving this album away for free so there’s no excuse not to grab this ASAP.
Have you heard Run the Jewels 3? What’d you think about it? What was your favorite song/verse? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
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