Published Jul 26, 2015Anyone still wondering how Run the Jewels climbed the mountain to become one of hip-hop's most respected and talked-about acts need only see the duo live. Killer Mike and El-P are hard. Harder than pretty much any other act on WayHome's bill, rock bands included.
That's not to say the group lack a sense of humour. It's hard to take the stage to Queen's "We Are the Champions," or get a crowd to chant "She got that dick in her mouth all day" without tongue planted at least a little bit in cheek. But the pair's between-song affability was juxtaposed by their scorching performance and the fiery political rhetoric of tracks like "Lie, Cheat, Steal."
With DJ Trackstar providing the backbone to the performance, El-P and Killer Mike were relentless. Cherry-picking the best tracks off the two RTJ records, their energy was palpable and the interplay between the two — both verbally and physically — only elevated the already enthusiastic crowd who responded in kind. "I love our life and I love our motherfucking family," said Killer Mike referring to the audience. The feeling was mutual.