Last year, El-P and Killer Mike were the team-up that no one saw coming. What was initially supposed to be a couple of collaborations, eventually turned into the album R.A.P. Music. It was a project that smashed any and all expectations and reminded people why Killer Mike is an O.G. The only downside was that Mike and El only appeared on two tracks together (Butane off of R.A.P. Music and Tougher Colder Killer from El’s Cancer 4 Cure). When those two got the chance to trade bar after bar of tough guy braggadocio, it was pure magic.
They knew what the people wanted and last Tuesday they finally gave it to us in the form of El-P + Killer Mike = Run The Jewels. 33 minutes of unadulterated bad guy shit and more released for free (FREE. AS IN DOWNLOAD IT RIGHT HERE) by Fool’s Gold. Thematically, the duo sticks to their guns. Check out “DDFH” for a track about not trusting power and a hook I can really get behind at my darkest (Do Dope Fuck Hope). It’s not all gloom and doom, though. “Twin Hype Back” packs some of the best punchlines I’ve heard from either artist, and features DJ Prince Paul trying to seduce a girl with promises of artificial insemination, molly, and Uno cards. The key track is the closer, “A Christmas Fucking Miracle”. The two MC’s put forth their thesis, with El-P reminding you that power has no power over you, and Mike correcting the spelling of America (still spell it with the triple K).
This is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. Killer Mike and El-P have a chemistry that’s as hard to match as it is to explain. Strictly speaking, the combination of Brooklyn prog-rap and Atlanta dirty dirty shouldn’t work, but it does. It’s just one of those gifts from the universe, like chocolate and peanut butter. Pick this album up and you will not be disappointed. Except maybe when it ends; but at that point you can just start it over.