Having been with us for over a year, the fourth gem from one of the best working groups in rap remains one of the top picks of 2020.
For those unfamiliar with the dynamic duo, one half Company Flow/Def Jux veteran EL-P and Atlanta-based heavyweight and activist Killer Mike, they have been making music together for nearly a decade. It all began with the EL-P produced 'R.A.P Music' (2012), which debuted the explosive chemistry of the two. The self-titled debut under the moniker of Run The Jewels followed in 2013, and they have been crafting a new legacy in rap ever since. Bassy, aggressive beats with intricate hard-hitting flows alongside juvenile humour and politics, they have one of the best mixes of ideas and sounds in rap today.
Each respective release and has centred thematically around the hands depicted on the covers. The debut is a robbery, the second representing healing through bandages, the third with golden hands showing self-acceptance, and now a bright yet distorted digital depiction sets the tone for 'RTJ4'. The heavier reliance on electronic soundscapes throughout the album invokes that digitisation. The best example of this being the full-frontal charisma of Killer Mike's bravado on opener 'Yankee and the Brave', which extends on their pseudo-buddy-cop routine that has been the working joke for years now with style and force.
The production on the record is crystal clear but never compromises on impact. The Pharrell produced 'JU$T' give grounds to this with its silken bass leads and earworm hook, and is a perfect representation of what the group is sounding like in 2020. The song also features longstanding collaborator since 2014, RATM frontman Zack de la Rocha, with who the band shares a supporting slot for their 2022 reunion tour.
This double LP is in stock now in a beautiful pink pressing (same pink as the cover) and sounds as good as ever just one year on. We won't give away the brilliance of the record for those who haven't heard it yet, but we guarantee the album shows just how relevant a group can be over a decade into this successful venture. Run the Jewels remain, kings of the new underground scene, as they take on festivals, arenas and hopefully more music. Essential listening for the new decade.
'RTJ4' Available in Store Now