Best Albums of 2014: Run The Jewels, “Run The Jewels 2”
Run them jewels fast.
There’s no hotter rap duo on the planet right now than Jamie and Mike, and this second Run The Jewels offering has put them on even bigger maps and brighter stages, deservedly so. I think the thing I like most about RTJ is that even when El-P and Killer Mike are absolutely torching fools on the subject of politics, respect, or social injustice, it’s still clear that they are having the best time of their lives. In a way, this odd couple is the perfect match; they spent years making insightful, banging rap music on their own or in other groups, but only now, together, are they realizing their full potential. It’s inspiring, really. And listening to Mike’s passionate speeches onstage each night about the dismal state of America today will inspire you as well. Seriously, if it wouldn’t be a step in the wrong direction for his job trajectory, the Philadelphia 76ers would be smart to hire Mike as their new head coach. Could you imagine the merch possibilities?! (Cue Dr. J pointing at a freshly copped gold chain.) El-P has been one of hip-hop’s best producers ever since his work with Cannibal Ox in 2001, and his work on the RTJ catalog is cementing that status for good. Looks like El finally answered his own question from 15 years ago on the Company Flow song “Patriotism”: It’s Run The Jewels’ America, and you best get out of their way.—Pat McGuire