Run the Jewels Run the Jewels

Run the JewelsRun the Jewels
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and NYC backpack idol El-P last partnered up on Mike's R.A.P. Music and El's Cancer 4 Cure. Their self-titled album, Run The Jewels, is produced entirely by El-P and takes advantage of their distinct yet complementary styles; El is loquacious and paranoid, while Mike's aggressive, bruising verses keep his partner's Philip K. Dick-ian fantasies street level. "DDFH" examines hood politics and crooked cops, while "No Come Down" dissects modern drug culture. Lest things get too serious, Prince Paul proffers hilarious pick-up lines over the back-and-forth of "Twin Hype Back." In his production, El finds the sweet spot in a signature blend of '80s beat-breaking minimalism and synthed-out maximalism; James Brown/BDP freak-out "Get It" is a sterling example, while "Banana Clipper" detunes a percolator to back top class chest thumping from El, Mike and Big Boi. Mike's verse on the fierce "Sea Legs" would be a Hip-Hop Quotable in The Source's golden years. Run The Jewels is no classic, but a ferocious, fun record. You heard the men: up those rings and chains for the dopest villainous duo. (Fool's Gold)