Run The Jewels – “Run The Jewels 2”
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
2014 – Mass Impact – 11/2/2014
High Rotation – 4.5/5
RIYL: Death Grips, Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, getting your shit wrecked
Reviewed by: Stephen Wuchina
Just when you thought your winter was going to be as nice and cozy as a Norman Rockwell painting, the most powerful duo in hip-hop are back to bring the apocalypse. Run The Jewels 2 is unsurprisingly another installment of hard hitting no bullshit hip hop with even more bangers than their first thanks to El-P and Little Shalimar’s gripping beats, which sound like they were beamed in from an alien mothership with phasers set to go hard as fuck. El-P and Killer Mike trade off barbed-wire verses that are just as intense and on-point as they are funny – you can tell that they’re having tons of fun with their wordplay and clever lines while still being angry as hell. Things start out with menacingly with two slower yet focused and intense tracks (Oh My Darling Don’t Cry) before getting into Blockbuster Night Part 3, with a fuzz-filled beat that immediately grabs you by the throat and pummels you down. The guest spots throughout are brilliant: Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine adds some fitting metal guitar to the footwork-inspired Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck), and the impassioned anti-cop anthem Early features an gorgeously eerie chorus from the singer Boots. The duo’s intentions are summed up poetically by Killer Mike on the ballad-like second-to-last track Crown: “You are the smoldering vessel of punishment born to nothing but justify us / Give up your childish obsession with questioning anything we don’t tell you is irrelevant.” Again: Hard as fuck.
Picks: 2, 3, 4, 7, 10