Monday, 10 November 2014

Run The Jewels "Run The Jewels 2" (2014)


Run The Jewls is a project consisting of Hip Hop rappers Killer Mike & EL-P. The two got together in 2013 and released the first self titled album. After a great reception the two have come back quickly this year with the second album which is also receiving a lot of praise. I picked this album up on the premise of some dark, violent and aggressive Hip Hop. It certainly delivered on this front.

Killer Mike & EL-P are unforgiving on this album, delivering an onslaught of offensive lyrics and violent imagery in a ruthless fashion. Theres little socially conscious or thought provocative content here. The two bang our insult after insult as these songs explore paranoid, misogynist and anti-authority themes. Both rapper's, who I am new too on this record, have fantastic flows. They are creative, engaging and clearly spoken, which is enjoyable but for me the lyrical content lacked a point at times, with much of the offensive material feeling unnecessary or without cause. Despite this the rhyming was creative and at times a little cheesy with lines like "I'm so high your a hobbit" or "You can walk backwards through a field of dicks", however its a humorous flavor cheese.

Instrumentally this album is sharp, production is on form, the beats are grooving and charactered by dark and gritty sampling which can be estranged in places, creating dark and paranoid vibes to accompany the violent overtone of this record. Theres a dynamic relationship between the kits and samples as sturdy, constructed beats give narrative and structure to unusual sounds. On the track "Close Your Eyes" a vocal sample is manipulated to forge a jiving and unusal beat, it also features Zach De La Roach of RATM who delivers an unremarkable verse. I enjoyed this record a lot, the beats were refreshing, however for me the lyrical substance falls short of making it special.

Favorite Tracks: Oh My, All My Life, All Due Respect, Angel Duster
Rating: 7/10

5 comments:

  1. If this is the first time you're hearing of el-p or Killer Mike i highly suggest you check out their earlier works. If you're looking for more substantial lyrics but similar flows then there you go. RTJ just has that ridiculously over the top bravado and violent humor thing going for it. I am slightly biased towards el-p's solo work (or even his other collaborations) so i will suggest a couple for you to listen to on your spare time. 1."El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead"
    2."Company Flow - Funcrusher Plus" (el-p and Bigg Jus)

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  2. Loving this blog, X ! I'm really enjoying this album. I think production-wise, especially, el-p really stepped up his game and created some of his most hard-hitting and energetic beats to date. I really love how melodic they can be while remaining so dissonant and abrasive. I see what you mean about the lyrical content, but I really think there are some thought provoking concepts and more poetic lyrics in this record to be found beneath the punchlines, for me after a few spins they really came to the forefront. El-p and killer mike are normally such serious and political lyricists I found it really awesome on this project and rtj1 to hear them just trading bars and being a little silly, however I think this project is a lot more layered and engaging than the first rtj record.

    I've been listening to El-P's first solo record from 2001, Fantastic Damage, a lot - I'd highly recommend it as an intro to his solo stuff. It's one of the most unique hip hop records I've heard, he creates some really fantastic industrial and glitchy beats but with a fantastic 90's boom bap feel and his lyricism is just fantastic, really dense and anarchic. You should check it out if you get a chance - it's Awsum ! :-)

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    1. I will check it our for sure, sounds like something id enjoy :-)

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  3. Can't believe you gave this a 6/10! This was.my favourite hip hop album of 2014 :(

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