Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 3


4.5
superb

Review

by SpeakSound USER (16 Reviews)
January 9th, 2017 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “everyone down, throw the pistol and fist…”

Gazing into the night sky, El-P and Killer Mike know they are needed as their symbol of pistol and fist is lighting up the night. With a quick glance at one another, they nod in recognition that world is ready for RTJ3, the third and possibly final installment to a trilogy of albums unlike the world has ever heard before. El-P, with his ability to shatter minds with his sonic beams and Killer Mike, with his destructive iron fist set on a path of justice, soar into the night once again, the unstoppable rhyme-fighting duo the hip-hop world desperately needs.

Our two champions first crossed paths when El-P was chosen to produce Mike’s record “R.A.P. Music.” They even made appearances on each other’s records, which so happened to release within a week of one another. Following that, they embarked on a tour together which began the greatest hip-hop duo this world has ever seen, and will likely ever see! Their partnership began by shaking the rap world at its core with their debut, and then RTJ2 left it in shambles. To top their efforts seemed insurmountable, but if anyone can conquer the task, its them.

I can’t think of a hip-hop record in recent memory that was anticipated this heavily, and it’s finally here. Instead of sliding down your staircase railing to sink your nails into wrapping paper, we found ourselves on Christmas morning instead opening our respective streaming apps to hear the new RTJ, which ended up being a great gift (better than anything I got). At this point, we’ve come to learn what to expect from the showstoppers, usually kicking down the front door within seconds of pressing play. Instead of getting an iconic banger or Killer Mike yelling in our ears (“you might wanna record the other way, you finna look at history being made”), we get a curveball with a tamer track entitled “Down.” El-P reminds other rappers listening “You’re gonna need a bigger boat boys, you’re in trouble,” and we prepare ourselves for what Killer Mike called “the greatest thing we have artistically done together.” Little patience is required because when the percussion hits on “Talk to Me” we know it’s on. We can picture a devilish smirk as we hear “RTJ 3 mother***ers.”

“I told you on RTJ1 and I told you again on RTJ2… So here we go, RTJ3!” Killer Mike yells out the speakers on “Talk to Me.” The conquers jump into battle with an unheard-of level of confidence. Previously, they’ve had some braggadocios moments, but none to compare with tracks such as “Panther Like a Panther,” where the chorus’ core is literally “I’m the ***, bitch!” But hey, they’ve come a long way and to be fair, they’ve earned their spot on the throne. Mike and El seem to have a pattern of slaughtering all competition in their field, leaving them barely enough time to recover before dropping another one.

The other side to the warriors is their opposition to the corrupt system which their sharp tongues wage war against. Killer Mike is commonly sharing his views in his music and in interviews. In 2016 he visually supported Bernie Sanders and opposed following Hillary Clinton when Sanders’ run was over. “Thieves!” is one of the many examples of their political side, ending with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote which concludes “Riots are the language of the unheard,” a powerful statement which has been echoed by Mike previously. Whether their boasting or engaging their new nemesis Donald Trump (“Went to war with the devil and shaytan. He wore a bad toupee and a spray tan”), their lyrical genius is not up for debate, it’s a fact at this point.

If you’re familiar with El-P, you know his sonic abilities have stretched over two decades now, propelling several underground artists upwards such as Cannibal Ox and Aesop Rock. He’s only improved in his artistry and this is perfectly clear on RTJ3, although he uses a strict formula since the first RTJ. This recipe includes tons of bangers with slapping percussion (“Legend Has It” possibly the biggest achievement of the RTJ trilogy, beat wise, “Stay Gold” which comes as close to Death Grips as he’ll ever get, and “Call Ticketron” a futurist polished version of “Banana Clip”), and he always throws in a few slower, deeper tracks (“2100”, “Don’t Get Captured”). Also, in respect for topping one’s self, instead of another Travis Barker feature, they bring in Kamasi Washington, a well-played move. This jazz-infused tune takes the record to new heights and exposes El-P’s genius mind for sonic craftsmanship, utilizing artists outside of the box. Then to top it off, the epic closer “A Report to the Shareholders/Kill Your Masters” finishes on a high, with a surprise appearance from de la Rocha.

Where will our heroes go from here, it’s hard to tell. This might signal the end of the trilogy but most likely not the end of RTJ. After not reaching the acclaim of RTJ2 with RTJ3 the hope is they’ll explore new paths and hold down the throne with something more ambitious. Either way, the RTJ trilogy will live on as the best full-bodied example of hip-hop in the 2010’s. Because, hey, they’re “a good crew to *** with, better to love.”

Review Link: http://www.speak-sound.com/single-post/2017/01/09/Album-of-the-Week-RTJ3



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user ratings (504)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SpeakSound
January 9th 2017


81 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rating: 9.4/10.0



CC is always appreciated.

MikeC26
January 9th 2017


3323 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"their lyrical genius is not up for debate, it’s a fact at this point."



Uhhhh idk about that.



Good review, though!

guitarded_chuck
January 9th 2017


11208 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

it's a fact

SpeakSound
January 9th 2017


81 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was purposefully a little over the top (to go with the theme of the review) but yes, that is my opinion. If you think otherwise...I get it, but in their line (boastful lyricism) they are definitely up there. Hardly debatable...but on here anything is.

thiswastheyear
January 9th 2017


928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

formatting dude, i won't pos or neg yet but break this shit up so it's not a wall of text.

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SpeakSound
January 9th 2017


81 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alright come back 2 mins

Toad
January 9th 2017


4063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Best rap duo the world has ever seen?

Outkast

Gang Starr

Black Star

Eric B and Rakim

Mobb Deep

Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth

Cannibal Ox

And more...

RTJ isn't even close to the top 5

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thiswastheyear
January 9th 2017


928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

kid and play

kriss and kross

rae and sremmurd

violent j and shaggy 2 dope

the list goes on

StarlessCore
January 9th 2017


4323 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

best rap duo....offensive

Digging: Abigail - Blasphemy Night

chinesewhispers
January 9th 2017


4612 Comments


"Eric B and Rakim"

"Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth"

Are they really in the same category though?

rabidfish
January 9th 2017


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol hard

Digging: Akiko Yano - Tadaima

Toad
January 9th 2017


4063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@chinesewhispers

Are they not considered rap duos?

SpeakSound
January 9th 2017


81 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I gotta laugh at rae sremmurd.

No, but seriously, calm your tits. I love all the hate just for that line, is it a good review or not? I'm glad you all stated your opinions and got that out of your systems but if you wanna write a review yourself, go right ahead. Yes, this review has many over the top statements but I was aiming for that because it sort of went with my introduction. Normally I wouldn't be so bold, but I kind of figured it fit, so I went with it. Also, imo, they are the best, but I do know that that's about as far as that goes- my opinion. I agree, there are plenty of possible candidates (most notably, Outkast, Black Star, Mobb Deep.....the list goes on from there) but I felt like RTJ had at least done enough now to be a contender. Maybe they're not in your top 5 but they're in plenty of peoples top 3, whether you agree or not.

SnakeDelilah
January 9th 2017


17866 Comments


stop posting your garbage fanboy reviews on this site and stick to your shitty child's play blog you pseudo-hipster bitch

chinesewhispers
January 9th 2017


4612 Comments


"Are they not considered rap duos?"

They're rapper-producer duos, whereas in RtJ both members share mic time. Minor gripe, but I personally wouldn't place them next to each other

Ryus
January 9th 2017


13001 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

holy shit lmfao

Frippertronics
January 9th 2017


10858 Comments


snake in with the overaggressive comment for no reason

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modpack
January 9th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

wait brb gonna post that on your bowie review

Frippertronics
January 9th 2017


10858 Comments


pls

Rigma
January 9th 2017


45 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is kind of just an unrelated narration of how the album itself progresses and not an actual critique.

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