El-P & Killer Mike are Run The Jewels. What started as a friendly collaboration project turned into the biggest rap duo & album of the year. Both entering their 40’s, the two rappers have had successful solo careers and relatively known names, with many albums and collaborations under their belts. When El-P produced Killer Mike’s last album, R.A.P. Music, and Killer Mike appeared on a track off El-P’s last record, the two decided to join forces as Run The Jewels.
“Something’s special’s happening,” said El-P, “there’s so much energy it’s ridiculous, me and Mike have tapped into something crazy.” Now on Nas’ new label, Mass Appeal Records, who introduced the two and promotes their work to a large audience, Run The Jewels have owned rap in 2014.
Run The Jewels rap with a mix of humor, satire, personal aggression, and above all, somehow politically and socially conscience. El-P & Killer Mike have successfully pulled off high-intensity gangster rap with the lyrics and sincerity of good, friendly, and honest people. The thing about Run The Jewels is that they show people that you can make music and have fun, and be real. Sure, there’s always exaggeration, but that’s the humor, the sarcasm.
“The thing I love about music,” says El-P, “is if you do it long enough, you get better at translating what’s in your head to a medium. That’s why I keep doing it.” Killer Mike has said about the project that, “people don’t accredit rappers with having the humanity that we do. They don’t understand that the darkness and the anger that we rap about comes from a place of love, care, and concern. Everything about these records is just so human. You can’t turn away from it.”