Run The Jewels are back with their highly anticipated fourth full-length album.
Killer Mike and El-P begin in their usual bombastic style from the outset with the hard-hitting, ‘Yankee and the Brave (Ep. 4).’
The single, ‘Ooh La La’ sees Greg Nice holding down the hook with a nod to some classic Gang Starr, as DJ Premier also assists with some cuts:
Politically-charged commentary mixed with hip-hop swagger is the order of the day for this 39-minute album, such as with ‘Walking In The Snow,’ where Killer Mike rhymes, “And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me/ Until my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, ‘I can’t breathe.’”
The police are not the only people in Run The Jewels’ sights, as they also hit out at the media, fake Christians, and spiritual battles. Take the frantic and frenetic ‘Goonies Vs E.T.’ where Run The Jewels take down people who pretend to be ‘woke:’
‘JU$T’ sees Zack De La Rocha and Pharrell Williams drop past as they declare, “look at all these slave masters posing on your dollar” – hitting out at the government, racism, money, and more.
However, don’t get it wrong. Run The Jewels 4 is not without its moments of pure hip-hop, such as with the 2 Chainz-featuring, ‘Out Of Site:’
In many ways, the production is similar to their previous releases, with booming basslines mixed in with fuzzy synths and neck-snapping breaks. Tracks like ‘Pulling The Pin’ strip the production back to place your focus on the wordplay, which remains deft throughout.
However, the soundscape switches up as times, such as with the swirling electronica feel of ‘Never Look Back’ and the album’s finale, ‘A Few Words for the Firing Squad (Radiation):’
Run The Jewels are giving this project away for free in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the political climate right now, which is certainly a strong stance. Especially given that this is probably their strongest release to date.
That said, there are physical releases on the way too – so, we don’t know about you, but we’re going to cop some vinyl when it drops – showing some support…