Last week, Run The Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike) released Run The Jewels 2, their second album as a full-on duo and their first on a label, having signed to Nas’ Mass Appeal earlier this year.
Much has been made of their late-career resurgence and their ability to bring the best out of each other, and the hype is entirely justified. It is, unquestionably, one of the best albums of the year, managing somehow to improve in almost every conceivable way on last year’s first effort. From the sexually explicit and flipped-on-its-head ‘Love Again (Akinyele Back)’ to the club banging ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’, there is hardly a weak track on there.
‘Jeopardy’ is the first track on the album, and is one of the most accomplished tone-setting opening tracks of the year. Killer Mike opens with what sounds like a pep talk to himself and El: he sounds more than just fired up; he’s a bona fide inferno, and that pure, unbridled energy doesn’t dissipate even once throughout the entirety of the album. He then proceeds to spit a verse that is matched (and perhaps even surpassed) only by El-P’s verse which comes directly after. The biggest harbinger here, though, isn’t the rapping, which was always expected to be of the highest calibre, but the production, which finds El-P adding new textures to the raw, hard synths of Run The Jewels. The horns lift ‘Jeopardy’ to a place that few could have expected them to reach, or even venture, and proves the longevity of this project. The rest of the album then goes on to back that up again, and again, and again.
Listen to ‘Jeopardy’ below. Download Run The Jewels 2 for free here.