For rap enthusiasts, there is an overwhelming chance that you will not hear an album better than Run the Jewels 2 this year.
Rapper Killer Mike and rapper and producer El-P are veterans in the hip-hop landscape. They both have highly successful careers, and have garnered their share of acclaim over the years. While some elder artists are content with fading into mediocrity, Mike and El seem more interested in setting the world ablaze with the most brash, dense, and grandiose hip-hop imaginable.
There is no stopping a feverish assault of insightful, grimy, and downright fun lyrics.
Combining El-P’s unique and vibrant production and lyrical style with Mike’s incomparable flows and intensity, you create a two-headed monster that crushes beats left and right.
Mike and El are not supposed to be the nice guys—in-fact they really dislike the “nice guys”. When they are together, their verses paint a picture of them in ski masks toting pistols demanding the nice guys to calmly hand over their jewelry.
Throughout the album’s near-40 minutes, it is a tour de force that touches on politics, life, police brutality, relationships, and a whole bunch of inflammatory jargon. They enlist the help of a few other artists, including an insanely good verse from Rage Against the Machine frontman, Zach De La Rocha and Gangsta Boo of the Three 6 Mafia fame, delivers perhaps one of the most explicit verses any female MC has ever recorded.
RTJ2 is more than just an album–it is a phenomenon. Two artists who are hell-bent on defying the norm and creating great music, all whilst having fun, is undoubtedly something to revere. With an album like this, get a good pair of headphones, sit down and enjoy it. If for some reason you don’t like it, not to worry, Mike and El probably won’t like you either.