Much like the cover art suggests, Killer Mike & El-P just stole the spotlight when they dropped the sequel to their very successful Run The Jewels album. Everything was awesome about this album, from the way Mike & El-P leaked the free download link days before it hit stores, to the ridiculous pre-order packages (including the crowd-funded Meow The Jewels album), to the awesome tour. Not to mention the music on the album itself. Mike & El-P have definitely kept the magic going from the first album, if they haven’t topped it. With Run The Jewels 2, they’ve given us more of what we loved about the first album while also incorporating more of their individual styles we loved from their solo careers.
I’ll try not to repeat what I wrote in my review for CulturedVultures.com. Even months after the release date, the first quarter of the album is still the best pump-up music of 2014. Whether you need to win a sporting event, hit the gym, ace an exam, or nail an interview/meeting, this album will put you in the right mood to “bang this b**** out”, as Mike yells at the very beginning. Not only do they pump you up, but Mike and El-P will make you laugh and make you think with their lyrics. The difference between this album and the first one is they have more social commentary, making them more relatable. Even before we got the Mike Brown and Eric Garner verdicts, Killer Mike and El-P are rapping about police brutality and show that it definitely isn’t a new problem America has.
Overall, Run The Jewels 2 gave me a similar reaction as the first album, although it does show growth. Just like last time, I’m loving the style and production on this album, and the transitions between songs are brilliant. Although it’s longer than the first album, it’s still a short 40 minutes, and not one minute is wasted as this is a pure quality listen from beginning to end. Mike & El-P have not only formed a strong team but have built a solid fanbase, as their logo/hand gesture is now widely recognized. As with the first album, I’m left looking forward to what they have in store for the future, and hoping to see this duo become even more successful.
My Grade: A+
That’s the end of the countdown, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!