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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Feb 10th, 2017

Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 3

runRun the Jewels
Run the Jewels 3
(Run the Jewels, Inc.)

Buy it at Amazon!

The current hip-hop chart-topping duo was inspired to name itself after a refrain in LL Cool J’s “Cheesy Rat Blues” (included on his double-platinum 1990 release Mama Said Knock You Out). The style and swagger packed into a simple phrase was everything the group wanted to embody in their collaboration. Regarding the logo he created to accompany all of the band’s artwork, artist Nick Gazin said that “the whole image is about coming back after having been beaten down.” The Michael Render-Jaime Meline duo (individual stage names Killer Mike and El-P, respectively) started out underground and has grown into something of a voice behind today’s generation (Exhibit A: The immediate rise of Run the Jewels 3 to #1 on Billboard’s Rap chart. Exhibit B: The loudest applause I’ve ever heard for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert). You might examine their lyrics and draw the conclusion that they’re the next political supergroup in hip-hop. In response to this assumption, Killer Mike would insist that they’re not delivering any agenda other than their belief in the idea that no matter who you are, you are born free. The musical identity these two producers/lyricists have crafted is an excellent example of that notion: what they’re doing for hip-hop is probably something akin to what Coltrane did to bebop, delivering their vibes with an unapologetic ferocity unmatched in the genre right now. Their lyrics often sound as if they were freestyled, and there is a clear emphasis on the collective, as each individual’s verses fit in seamlessly with the other’s (and often overlap). The result has been overwhelming commercial success for a band comprised of one rapper previously associated mostly with his work as an Outkast collaborator and one producer largely confined to alternative/underground hip-hop forms over the last two decades. And so it turns out that performers from all across the musical landscape want in on the RTJ movement: their work has featured a wide range of collaborators thus far, from Big Boi and Danny Brown to Travis Barker and Zack de la Rocha. On their new release Run the Jewels 3, Kamasi Washington, who has worked with several big names in hip-hop (most recently on Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly), lays down a groovy tenor sax to bolster the chorus of “Thursday in the Danger Room.” On “Hey Kids (Bumaye),” Brown’s crazed, aggressive style meshes with that of the duo to deliver the ultimate testament that this music ain’t for the faint of heart. Don’t miss out on your chance to turn up with these guys as they set up shop at Terminal 5 to close out the month of February with four consecutive shows (the fourth just added due to popular demand).

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Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 3