Run the Jewels (RTJ) dropped its third self-titled LP last Christmas Eve and it’s one of their most potent yet, delivering some bombastic beats alongside RTJ’s punchiest political commentary. The rap supergroup consisting of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and alternative hip-hop producer El-P, have met critical acclaim for their non-conformist attitudes and conspiratorial political view, which comes to head in “RTJ 3.”
Many popular rap artists have released politically-charged content in light of recent events, but RTJ carves a spot amongst some great albums like Tribe’s new LP. RTJ is ascending confidently, bringing up relevant talking points in a tasteful way while simultaneously throwing low balls at the ruling class.
It doesn’t rely on common left-wing propaganda to make a point. Mike and El both bring up well thought out ideas. For example, on the track “Don’t Get Captured” Mike raps about a neglected epidemic within Chicago where teens have been left to their own devices, turning to a life of crime and becoming armed thanks to loose gun laws in the city.
He then draws back to his hometown of Atlanta and his own past experiences as a gangster there. He watched that same gentrification force low-income people into already failing infrastructures. In that same track, El raps from the perspective of a police officer saying whatever he writes in the report becomes truth and he can get away with murder.
Overall, the record is the pandemonium many of us had hoped for from RTJ when they first announced the release in the beginning of 2016. El’s beats and production are ever-evolving and continue to surprise even the most hardcore of fans. This is the anarcho-rap album many of us needed heading into 2017.