Run the Jewels Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 22

Run the Jewels Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 22
Photo: Shane Parent
When word first came of a full-length collaboration between Killer Mike and rapper/producer El-P, many reacted with skepticism. Two years into the acclaimed Run the Jewels project — and with a highly anticipated second volume due out this fall —those doubts are a distant memory. Indeed, walking onto the Yonge-Dundas Square stage for a Sunday evening NXNE set to the strains of Queen's "We Are the Champions" didn't seem like a joke or an empty boast from Mike and El — just a statement of fact.

The duo didn't waste a second, exploding into Run the Jewels' title track and barely giving the audience time to breathe during a lean, relentless set that covered most of that album and had the ground shaking and the crowd rapping along to each one of the two MCs' breakneck, laser-guided rhymes. It seems churlish to complain that they left the stage after only 35 minutes, but when you're watching two of the best in the game do their thing and do it with such energy, chemistry and genuine affection for each other, you don't want it to stop.

Read our November 2014 cover story on Run the Jewels here.