Text by @KralTunes
American hip hop duo Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P) have returned to right all that is wrong with the world with one of the most bad mama-jama rap albums I’ve heard in a long time. Now I may not be a connoisseur of the rap game, and my track record in such maters may not be so stellar (I probably assumed that Ice Ice Baby was the greatest thing since my Cinnamon Toast Crunch back in the day), but I am pretty confident when I say that Run The Jewels 2 is probably the best rap/hip-hop album you will hear all year.
What makes this one a clear winner? The fact that one album can be so ridiculous one moment and then immediately flip on its head to offer you some truly interesting and thought provoking lyrics the next. On the ridiculous side, you get quality lyrics like “Blockbuster Night Part 1″s epic: “No hocus pocus, you simple suckers been served a notice/Top of the morning, my fist to your face is fucking Folgers” (you see?). Not to be outdone is “I smoke the kush/I eat the puss” off of “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”.
A polar opposite to the recently reviewed MILO album, this release is full of self-aggrandizing, self-importance, boasting, braggadocious, unyielding, cocky (I’m running out of adjectives) , and every bit fun as that sounds! As an added bonus, we are treated to a less than subtle male/female reproductive anatomy lesson courtesy of the duo and Gangsta Boo on “Love Again (Akinyele Back)”, with lyrics that my boss @tonightatdawn wouldn’t dare let me reprint here.
Even while the content can be ludicrous at times, there are moments of seriousness baked in, such as in “Early” with Killer Mike spitting out “I apologize if it seems I got out of line sir, cuz I respect the badge and a gun/And I pray today ain’t the day you drag me away right in front of my son,” and that’s right before things turn grave”. “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)” is a highlight, which is only made more pleasing with Rage Against The Machine’s Zach De La Rocha on loop. What’s more, it is another example of cleverly written verses that pull no punches on its target:
“The vision becomes a vow to seek vengeance on all the vicious Liars and politicians, profiteers of the prisons The forehead engravers, enslavers of men and women Includin’ members of clergy that rule on you through religion (So strippin’ kids to the nude and then tell ’em God’ll forgive ’em)”
The beats come fast and furious with little give, matching the energy and intensity of the lyricists blow for blow. This is a collaboration in the truest sense; each member pulling their weight throughout. Everything about this release works perfectly. Some tracks may not be as great as others, but they all mesh to reveal what will hopefully be a long and creative future for the rap game.