Run the Jewels, a hip-hop duo consisting of El-P and Killer Mike, returns with force in RTJ3. With complex melodies, a heavy bassline, and lightning-fast wordplay the two have once again created a masterpiece full of emotion and witticisms. Included in their fourteen-track album are the singles “Talk to Me,” “2100,” and “Legend Has It;” all of which were critically acclaimed.
There are many more gems in the album than just the three singles. The opening song “Down (feat. Joi)” has Killer Mike referencing his political activism and how he sees his music as an influential beacon while El-P follows with his message of staying true and staying strong. Catchy bass lines dominate the song with quick wordplay from both members.
Further into the album is their single “2100,” an ode to political revolution in a time of turmoil. El-P leads stating he is still young and hopeful at heart but the world is constantly trying to take that away from him. Following is Killer Mike with the state of the political world and how restless and corrupt it has become. He later goes on to tell of his distrust of this system but, with his friend and partner El-P, “You defeat the devil when you hold onto hope.”
The final song on the Album is a two-part song: “A Report to Shareholders: Kill your Masters” featuring Zack de la Rocha, lead vocalist of Rage Against the Machine. The first part, “A Report to Shareholders,” expresses the feeling of living in a rut that no one ever tries to escape. El-P states how what started as a fun side project between him and Killer Mike has morphed into a platform where they can communicate the truth and love around the world. Afterwards Killer Mike starts part two of the song: “Kill your Masters.” He explains how he doesn’t want to live in a corrupt and selfish society and wants to be the change he wants to see. Lastly, de la Rocha features expressing how the nation will make it through this turmoil and this album – and the message contained in and behind it – will be the end of the “masters.”
El-P and Killer Mike once again create a masterpiece in their third studio album RTJ3. With emotional and influential lyrics that mirror the state of the world on top of driving rhythms and rumbling basslines, this tour de force can have anyone rallying behind its music and message.
By: Seann Romero