Run the Jewels is becoming hip hop’s most redemptive act. Unapologetic, brash, witty, and raw, Killer Mike and El-P have created a sound that eclipses mainstream hip hop’s current blueprint of trendy beats and superficial content. The two are ushering in a model of varied experimentation with their lyrics and El-P’s production. RTJ recently dropped their sophomore album and the response has been outstanding. Murals, super
fans supporters, and their own trill hand sign complement the movement these guys are creating all over the country. I went to their sold out show in Atlanta at the Masquerade a few nights ago and it was one of the most high energy performances I’ve experienced this year.
The space was packed full of wild, raucous Run the Jewels fans. Once Mike and El hit the stage, along with their DJ Trackstar, it was over an hour of moshing, jumping and ‘bow throwing in the crowd. Which is exactly what Run the Jewels is all about: cutting up, letting loose, giving not a nan one fuck, then going back to your 9-5 gig and home to your babies. But these dudes aren’t just wilin’ out. In a (unfairly) rare display of masculine affection, the homies took the time to acknowledge a collaboration that’s blossomed into a true friendship. The product of that friendship was grandly displayed on that stage through their complementary rhyming styles and their engagement of the audience. Never a waning moment, the crowd went stupid when Big Boi came out for “Banana Clipper.” Unfortunately, his mic sabotaged his appearance and we heard no bars. His face in the place was good enough for most though.
Along with “Banana Clipper,” the guys pulled damn near all of their two album discography out, including “Sea Legs,” “Blockbuster Night,” “36” Chain,” “Lie, Cheat, Steal,” and still some more.
Moral of this story: if Run the Jewels comes banging through your city this year and next, you would be a damn fool not to check them out.