There are not many things more sacred in hip-hop than ‘the group’. Outkast, Run DMC, Eric B and Rakim, Dre and Snoop (yeh, I’m counting them as a group), Wu Tang, Tribe, Beastie Boys, Jazzy J and The Fresh Prince, and so on.
Should Run The Jewels be a part of the discussion when such illustrious names are brought up? I think that is now becoming a fair question to pose.
First thing’s first – RTJ3 is amazing. The first six tracks are so high in energy that it can physically exhaust you.
The combonation of Talk to Me, Legend Has it and Call Ticketron feels unfair. It felt like I was being constantly hit over the face with the tail of a skunk and told to dance harder with each song. Trust me, this is a compliment.
Unlike RTJ2, it’s El-P who is the star of this record. His production feels so different from anything that is happening in hip-hop today. I also feel like I have a better handle on his awkward rhyme style and I’ve come to realise just how dope this man is on the mic.
As for Killer Mike, he sounds as nasty as ever and I’ll be damned if there is a better verse than his third on Call Ticketron.
If you include Killer Mike’s R.A.P Music, this is the group’s fourth dope album. Have they changed the face of rap music? No. Maybe that is why you don’t include them with the likes of Big Boi and Andre, but they have given me hope. In a world where the average listener believes Drake is a legend and Kanye has lost his damn mind, hope is a powerful thing.