Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 3


4.1
excellent

Review

by Irving STAFF
December 26th, 2016 | 1542 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We a good crew to fuck with; better to love.

The third release in a simultaneously fresh yet familiar series kicks off with Killer Mike ruminating, “I hope with the highest of hopes/That I never have to go back to the trap and my days of dealing with dope”. That opening verse speaks at once to the quintessential Cheshire Cat spirit of his collaboration with El-P while tacitly acknowledging that the entire project has ended up being far, far more successful than either of them had ever imagined. Accordingly, RTJ 3 is both a sprinter’s dip and a victory lap – it is neither as sinewy as RTJ 1 nor as effusively vivacious as 2014’s RTJ 2, but still finds itself imbibed with the kind of assured professionalism that is only permitted to those who have previously done enough to be granted a low-pressure outing. Any wolves looking to take a cheap shot might immediately seize upon this as proof positive that the two MCs have finally lost their fire, but the more accurate assessment would be to recognize that Killer Mike and El-P have reached the point where even diminished returns are worthy of celebration.

As tradition would have it, the pair’s poetry remains bold and bizarre, with wondrous lines that variously zing and titillate. There’s “Brave men didn’t die face down in the Vietnam muck so I could not style on you”; or "Ballot or bullet – you better use one." Elsewhere, slipping in “Can’t stand the scope in the booth I disrobe like pederast popes on a play date/Better call mayday," must have given even the famously ice-cool El-P a grin. But what really gets the pair’s cylinders firing in these gilded times is the opportunity to trade in their trademark good humor alongside their contemporaries – like in the Miracle Mix of “Panther Like a Panther”, which features Trina enthusiastically sounding calls for the pistol and fist salute, or the spectacularly produced "Thursday in the Danger Room", which lives and dies by a shifting, emotionless Kamasi Washington hook. Album closer "Kill Your Masters" with Zack de la Rocha is a failed bid at rescaling the dizzying heights of “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)” but still manages to end on a poignant note, as the former Rage Against The Machine vocalist signs off the record with a parting shot that could just as easily serve as an epitaph someday: “Man, the world gonna ride on what’s implied in the name; run’ em.”




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user ratings (818)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


8500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yo love you Irving but i really don't know what to make of the review. i mean, besides the fact the album's been out for less than a day, you don't really seem to have developed anything interesting to say about the album. if anything it reads closer to a press release: a lot of pleasantries and quotes, but no argument or style to make it stand out as a piece of analytical/persuasive prose.



as someone who writes a lot of brief reviews, i suggest trying to come up with a thesis for the review that you can refer to before writing. that way the content can be much more engaging and it will come across as less clinical. as it is now, i think the review lacks a certain deal of character to make it really engaging to read.

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album peaks for me between tracks 4-8 but the album is still solid outside of that purple patch

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


8500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Call Tickertron" ---> "Hey Kids" is where the album really picks up momentum, Zach de la Rocha on the final track is what makes this their best album.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


10934 Comments


Enjoyable read but it seems a bit unfinished, sorta just...ends. Feels like a great start to a full review that doesn't come.

Digging: Evilfeast - Elegies of the Stellar Wind

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'I do push-ups nude on the edge of a cliff'

literallyzach
December 26th 2016


460 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This review is definitely a little undercooked. Enjoying this album so far but I'm not so sure about its longevity - Hey Kids is crazy good though.

Digging: GFOTY - GFOTYBUCKS

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'Thieves' is growing on me more every listen, that piano. Perfect tune to add to 'ticketron' and 'hey kids'

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

You don't feel like that final line of the first paragraph counts as a thesis statement, Arcade?

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The last song is another 5/5 - so those four songs are the best (4,5,8,14)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Fair enough if you feel that way @stopbanningmelol (i.e that more arguments/observations are absolutely necessary to advance this review's viewpoints). But I will say this - I personally (and humbly) believe in my prose enough that I feel I could have ended the review at the end of the first paragraph and still adequately justified my rating.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


8500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah it's definitely cogent and well-written but i don't think it has a substantial enough argument or analysis.

Asdfp277
December 26th 2016


16141 Comments


this out already? lol

Flugmorph
December 26th 2016


17563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ayyyyyyyyy

Tyrael
December 26th 2016


21083 Comments


Hey Kids is one of the best songs I've heard all year

Good piece, Irving. Maybe a bit premature, but an enjoyable read for sure.

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 26th 2016


25167 Comments


Yeah this review was well written (at least in terms of prose, which I don't think anyone is doubting). I don't know enough about the artist to say whether or not it makes enough valid points but all in all it's nice to see you back on the writing path Irving.

Digging: Belle and Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems Pt. 1

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Thanks Sowing! Re: everyone else's feedback, I'm definitely biased (seeing that I wrote the review) but I feel like people are unjustifiably conflating length with credibility.



I guess the timing of the review (1.5 days after release) doesn't help either. But I believe in this write-up and, as noted earlier, even feel that I could have ended this at the first paragraph and still sufficiently justified my rating and provided most - particularly those familiar with RTJ 1 and RTJ 2 - with a picture of what the record is like.



Anyway.

FreddieDelaney31
December 26th 2016


3378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What's disappointing for me is that this is easily their most layered and complex album yet, so I think it deserves a more in depth analysis. We might just have a difference of opinion there tho; I also thought at first that this sounded a little complacent and low stakes, but I feel now that it's an intentional decision to emphasize the production and sequencing.



Anyways it's still a great review! I was gonna try to get one up today or tomorrow but I'm very very sick so I'm glad someone did it for me haha

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

TVC15
December 26th 2016


8990 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Doof, I'd like to know how in the world this is better than Illmatic

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Alkaline Trio

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2016


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Illmatic is the same track repeated ten plus times really :P

hal1ax
December 26th 2016


9723 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol



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