Run The Jewels
Run The Jewels 2 Album Review
Mass Appeal Records
Released October 24, 2014
Genre: Hardcore Hip Hop
Anger is a feeling we all experience, whether it be through frustration, a fight, or even when things aren’t going your way, anger is everywhere. Now normally I’m not an angry person, but when I first listened to Run The Jewels, I was furious. Not at it, but with it. Run The Jewels is a rap duo, comprised of underground rappers Killer Mike and El-P. These two rappers, both working at the best of their abilities, on their own accord, have teamed up to create on of the most visceral, ambitious, and hard hitting hip hop albums to come out of 2014. While their debut, a criminally overlooked album, introduced the world to this duo on a very high note, the expectations for this album were very high. Run The Jewels 2 not only breaks those expectations, but also proves that Run The Jewels are a group you do not want to miss out on.
Now when I say angry, I mean “punching the wall-ALL CAPS-screaming to the top off your lungs-jumping all over the place” angry. A kind of righteous anger, that you can feel but not necessarily agree on. If you’re looking for melodic hip hop, pop rap, a “Macklemore/Hoodie Allen/G-Eazy” substitute, STEER CLEAR OF THIS ALBUM because you it will not only be unpleasant, but it will up front insult and deter you. Throughout 2014, there hasn’t been a more upfront, explicit, and hard-hitting album like RTJ2.
IF RTJ was any hint as to what Run The Jewels are capable of, then RTJ2 completely destroys those expectations as it expounds on nearly every brilliant idea that made their debut such an instant success. Those hard hitting, instant beats are, in some songs, hard hitting AND lush (‘Early”), and there rhymes are better than ever. In the Zack De La Rocha featured “Close Your Eyes (And Count To F*ck),” Killer Mike angrily proclaims “Blankets and pillow torchin’, where the f*ck the warden?/ And when you find him, we don’t kill him, we just waterboard him/ We killin’ ’em for freedom cause they tortured us for boredom/ And even if some good ones die, f*ck it, the Lord’ll sort ’em.” And in the light of the recent events in Ferguson, along with Killer Mike’s heartfelt speech in regards to the verdict, this statement is not only clever, but also powerful.
The list of features that this album has to offer just goes on: jaw dropping beats (“Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”), vile lyrics over some of the sickest beats (“Love Again”), Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker (’nuff said) (“All Due Respect”), and much more. I could go on and on about how much RTJ2 has to offer, and how much Killer Mike and El-P are succeeding in the rap game. The truth of the matter is that Mike and El-P are at the height of their creative powers here. With RTJ2, they’ve crafted a record that, in all its grit, humor, and ambitious glory, speaks messages on a multitude of levels ranging from politics to racism. With some of the best flows and production accompanying their fury-filled thoughts, RTJ2 is an album that not only gets fists pumping, but will get you punching through walls, with reason and meaning.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: Jeopardy, Oh My Darling Don’t Cry, Blockbuster Night Part 1, Close Your Eyes (And Count To F*ck) [feat. Zack De La Rocha], Lie, Cheat, Steal, Early (feat. BOOTS), All Due Respect [feat. Travis Barker], Love Again (Akinyele Back) [feat. Gangsta Boo], Angel Duster
LEAST FAV TRACK: Crown (feat. Diane Coffee)