Run The Jewels 2 is one of the many albums that I simply haven’t got round to listening to, by now you should have heard of it after the universal acclaim both from fans and critics alike. If you didn’t know already, Run The Jewels is a collaborative duo comprised of Killer Mike and producer-come-rapper El-P. After EL-P produced the entirety of Killer Mike’s raved-about sixth studio album, R.A.P. Music, the duo formed Run The Jewels- in which releasing two self-titled LPs, in this instance I’ll be reviewing the second project from the pair.
As a writer/reviewer/blogger, whatever you want to label me, it’s difficult to not be swayed, or at least have your opinions distorted by the mass opinions of critics, and RTJ2 is a universally acclaimed project. Don’t get me wrong- RTJ2 is definitely an accomplished project, but let’s just say I’m surprised that it’s such an raved-about, 89/100-from-Metacritic-receiving album. The production on the LP, courtesy of EL-P, it outstanding to say the least, Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) weaves Rage Against The Machine’s Zach De La Rocha’s vocals into the beat, All My Life is home to a suitable transitional guitar outro, while All My Life’s warped brass accompaniment combined with unforgiving crashing cymbals is perfect for the punchy Atlanta vocals from Killer Mike.
Vocals courtesy of both MCs provide an aggressive barrage of lyricism that effortless conforms to the gritty, hard-hitting aesthetic of the album, no more epitomised by the gruesome cover artwork. The duo’s lyrical compatibility I feel is best evident on All Due Respect. Each rapper has a shot at their verses, in which Mike professes to ‘Exhaling in the face of innocent infants’, with EL-P hunting everything from ‘lions, tigers and rare vaginas’.
As mentioned, Run The Jewels 2 is an accomplished piece of music. While the duo’s ability on the mic is as near faultless as you might expect from the pair, it’s the production that makes the LP as memorable as it is. The early hours of Lie, Cheat, Steal beam IDM looking at the likes of Aphex Twin, while the intensely chilling, dark nature of the final track Angel Duster shows how Run The Jewels are obviously not short of ideas, and that their first self-titled project, was definitely no fluke. Run The Jewels have ‘proved that we was fuckin’ brutal’.
Verdict – WWWW
Another example of an album that would have made my Best Albums of 2014, had I reviewed it prior.