KUMD Album Review: Run the Jewels

Feb 8, 2017

Credit Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels | Run the Jewels 3

Run The Jewels 3 — The third release in a simultaneously fresh, yet familiar series begins with a song titled, “Down,” in which Killer Mike raps, “I hope with the highest of hopes that I never have to go back to the trap and my days of dealing with dope”. This song speaks to the magnitude of success that Run The Jewels has had since releasing Run The Jewels in 2013 and Run The Jewels 2 in 2014.

Killer Mike and El-P have been astonishing hipsters and hip-hop listeners alike with cunning raps and hard hitting beats since 2013. Make no mistake though—neither artist is new to the music scene.

For those that are still in the dark, the artists first crossed paths when El-P was chosen to produce Killer Mike’s record, R.A.P Music. The duo hit it off, making appearances on each other’s records—which just so happened to be released within a week of one another.

Despite El-P’s underground work as a rapper and a producer and Killer Mike’s recognition for working with artists like Andre 3000, Jay-Z and T.I., neither artist broke into the mainstream music scene until they teamed up.

Today, however, Run The Jewels is one of the greatest hip-hop duos that the world has ever seen.

Artistic in everything from the album cover to the album contents, Run The Jewels 3 is ruled by revolution — encompassing brutally honest lyrics and beautifully compromised beats.

“Hey Kids (Bumaye)” is just as political as it is poetic. Killer Mike raps, “Say hello to the masters, on behalf of the classless masses. We showed up, ski masks, picks and axes, to murder asses. Lift up our glasses and watch your palaces burn to ashes.” Danny Brown follows with a powerful hook, “Buyame,” which translates to “Kill Him” in Congolese. With references to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, listeners could guess that the trio wants to overthrow the 1% who rules the world.

A distant and chaotic future is imagined on the song “2100,” as Run The Jewels warns that if humanity continues to hate, the ultimate price will be paid. Killer Mike raps, “How long before the hate that we hold lead us to another Holocaust?”

Further showing their ability to lyrically compel, Run The Jewels pay tribute to the friends that they have lost on “Thursday in the Danger Room,” featuring Saxophonist, Kamasi Washington. The chorus goes as follows, “And I guess I’d say I’ll see you soon. But the truth is that I see you now. Still talk to you like you’re around. And I guess I say you left too soon. But the truth is that you never left. ‘Cause I never let myself forget.” This is arguably the group’s most powerful track to date.

Run The Jewels 3, the third and possibly final album in the Run The Jewels series, is not only what the world wanted, but also what the world needed. Ruled by revolution, this album is a true jewel in the crown of hip-hop.