Run The Jewels 1 &2: An Introduction
I first listened to Run The Jewels after I kept seeing their debut album on countless end of the year top ten lists from review sites and personalities. Something about their pistol and fist logo just leapt at me enough for me to have a listen.
Three years later I’m wide eyed and grinning ear to ear when I see that they drop their new album early, and on christmas.
Their debut album ended up being fun, groovy and bassy enough to get me hooked and EL-P and Killer Mike’s flow was the cherry on the cake. By the time Run The Jewels 2 came along I was now already buckled in and ready.
Run The Jewels 2 upped everything. Angrier, harder, faster.
Grove turned to edge as they battered my eardrums into submission.
Essentially: They banged me the fuck out.
So with all that being said, Run The Jewels 3 was much anticipated.
Little did I know that this time things would be different.
Run The Jewels 3
Down sets the tone.
Their opening track is airy and light with spits from Killer Mike and E-LP. This took me by surprise given that Jeopardy on their previous album was more hard hitting.
This passed as Talk To Me and Legend Has It brought me back to my favourite Hip Hop duo (sorry Outkast). RTJ3 is their most political album yet, and can you blame them? police brutality, Black Lives Matter and Trump becoming the next president of the United States gave them all the ammunition they needed.
The pair’s views and moods fluctuate throughout the album, ranging from sad, hopeful, despairing and angry (mostly angry). My personal favourite was initially my least favourite, Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) is all about riots and the causes and consequences of them. Thursday In The Danger Room wins for hitting me the hardest in terms of an emotional punch as both rappers tell their stories of loss of loved ones.
Both of these songs as well as the album’s opening dominate the style of songs present on RTJ3. Not angry, slower and generally more atmospheric.
EL-P’s production is also different, adding layer upon layer of beats compared to RTJ2’s srtipped back rawness. This isn’t to say there aren’t any songs that get the heart racing, as songs like Panther Like A Panther (I’m The Shit) and Call Ticketron are absolute bangers that will get me jumping making a pistol and fist when I see them perform live.
It took me, a dedicated fan of Run The Jewels, to really warm to the new change of pace and atmosphere, and there are some songs that always skip that I never do on their previous albums. Songs like Don’t Get Captured, Everybody Stay Calm and Oh Mama just don’t excite me.
Overall a great album, I commend Run The Jewels to give us something different and important vital songs to mull over. I just miss the anger and the energy of the previous albums, but I guess as the social and political world change, so must their harbingers.
Long Live Run The Jewels.
Run The Jewels 3: 7/10