🎵: RTJ4 - Run The Jewels
GENRE: HIP HOP, POLITICAL HIP HOP
Just a bit of context, this album was recorded before the wake of chaos that has swept over the USA. Killer Mike and El-P appears to be clairvoyant in their ability to speak to the political climate of the country. If this ultimately surprises you, it shouldn't; this isn't a new issue, as many have been screaming.
El-P always brings the most potent performances across an RTJ album, but “RTJ4” is Killer Mike's most impressive album of his entire career. He slays consistently with biting and ballistic lyricism at society - a position he has been in for years in politics. An outspoken MC, Killer Mike brings his best on this album and overshadows every elements across this record. The songs here tackles difficult topics from gun violence to racist police, even money. It’s impactful, essential, and timely. It couldn't be more pressing than it is today. This isn't to say that the production isn't perfect, because it is. El-P has been the most consistent hip-hop producer for more than two decades. The beats and varied instrumentation make for the most eclectic yet electric Run the Jewels album yet, like the triumphant closer, “a few words for the firing squad (radiation)”. The featured artists also bring their best on this record. Only on a Run the Jewels record could you see Pharrell Williams feeling at home on a track with RATM vocalist Zack de la Rocha, but “JU$T” is an absolute masterclass banger.
Run the Jewels obviously knew how important this album was to the world around them, especially in the USA. Personally, Killer Mike and El-P are one of the voices of Hip Hop today. This is arguably RTJ's best work, not only for its timeliness but also its level of talent, only possible after years of collaboration and consideration; chemistry absolutely bubbling over from track to track.
Final Score: 9.0/10
Favorite Tracks: “yankee and the brave (ep. 4)”, “ooh la la”, “out of sight”, “holy calamafuck”, “goonies vs E.T.”, “JU$T” (Standout), “the ground below”, “a few words for the firing squad (radiation)