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Album Review

by Run The Jewels

Mass Appeal Records

Review Date
4th November 2014
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

When Run the Jewels' first self-produced record was unleashed upon the world as a free download last year, modern hip-hop grew another limb. While Kendrick Lamar was busy reviving a bygone West Coast scene and the East Coast continued to honour its past heroes, Run the Jewels announced themselves as something vastly different. The ultra aggressive hip-posturing and puerility of producers El-P and Killer Mike was as low brow as it got, but there was an inventiveness amongst the brashness which resonated.

Criticism of that record lay in its brevity and narrow scope. Essentially a 30-minute gym playlist of hype-rap, it was evolutionary but not revolutionary by any means. The follow up to that record (ingeniously titled Run the Jewels 2), shares no such blame. This is a magnificently crafted hip-hop record from start to finish, which leaves you breathless, and wanting more immediately. The high tempo, big bass lines and abrasive lyrics from the first record remain, but these elements have been fleshed out and made multi-dimensional with the use of some inspired guest spots.

From Zach de la Rocha spitting rhymes on the pulsating 'Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)' to Beyoncé collaborator Boots’ build-and-release masterpiece 'Early', there’s infinitely more variety here than the first record and subsequently it’s a much more enjoyable listen. Run the Jewels 2 is the future of hip-hop right now. Not bad work for a couple of 39-year-olds.


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