Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Track Reviews: Run The Jewels - "Blockbuster Night Part 1" + "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" + "Close Your Eyes"

Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. We're exactly one week away until one of underground hip-hop's most anticipated albums drop. Run The Jewels 2, the second offering from Brooklyn duo Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P) has had three of it's songs released, and holy Christ almighty, are they amazing. Prepare for some fangirling.

RTJ2 threw "Blockbuster Night Part 1" about a month ago, and boy, was it was a curveball. It's slower than any other RTJ song, and it's main swing rhythm can make even the most stonefaced person bob their head. As usual, Mike and El kill it with the bragging and violent lyricism, for example, the final verse by Killer Mike:

This Run The Jewels is, murder, mayhem, melodic music
Psychotics use it then lose it, junkies simply abuse it
That's word to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, I'm pushin coffin
I probably smell like a pound when they put me in a coffin
The gates of hell are pugnaciously pacin', waitin'
I give a fuck if I'm late, tell Satan be patient
But I ain't here for durations, I'm just taking vacations
And tell 'em fuck 'em, I never loved 'em and salutations
Between shit talking Satan himself and that little stinging Phillip Seymour Hoffman reference, Killer Mike slays this first single.

Now we're shifting into higher gears. Trap beats dominate this track up until the final third where El-P's signature noisy sci-fi production shift into overdrive with some heavy distorted bass to drive home the final few verses. "Oh My Darling" is loaded with hyperbolic lines once again, telling the world how Run The Jewels stand as the defenders of real rap from the watered down mainstream scene.

This is Run The Jewels at their peak. Mixing their typical brags with some biting social commentary on the police, the juridical, and prison systems of the United States, this song brings in fellow anarchist Zack De La Rocha for the final verse. De La Rocha fits "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)" perfectly considering his track record for social and political commentary and his blatant antiestablishmentarianism. Yes I needed a dictionary to spell that. The beat to this song (which samples De La Rocha) has to be one of my favorite El-P produced tracks. Between the boom-bap drums and the overdriven bass licks, this has got to be one of Run The Jewels' heaviest songs.

I hope that now you're all as excited for Run The Jewels 2 as I am. Based on what I've heard so far, I think El and Mike might end up stealing my spot for best album of the year two years in a row.

That's all for now, folks! Jeremy, I'll see you down the line.


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