Artists of the week: Run the Jewels
Though it might have started as a one-off project, the American hip-hop super duo formed by New York City-based rapper-music producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike known as Run the Jewels quickly evolved to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed urban music projects of the streaming era.
After some serious flirting in 2012 (El-P produced Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music album, who later appeared on a track from his Cancer 4 Cure LP), the duo released the following year their self-titled debut as a free digital download mixtape, which instantly became one the most praised hip-hop records of 2013, mostly due to their fast, loud and nasty deliver of witty aphorisms and genuinely affecting wisdom. Aware of their momentum, it took the duo only a year to release the highly anticipated sequel, RTJ2, this time as a genuine album, that showcases not only their habitual explosive rhymes and beats but also an uncanny attention to detail (sequencing, guest spots and production). It’s also exciting and funny as hell: who needs to wait for the 2015 scheduled and crowdfunded Meow the Jewels when you can enjoy this one monster right now?
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.