26 December 2016

Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 3

Happy Christmas people!  It is the day afterwards as I start this (was too merry to start this last night) and I hope this finds you all well.  I like surprise albums, ones that are dropped when you least expect them to be and that make the world a more interesting place.  Run The Jewels are a band who have been recommend to me an awful lot and I was going to review 'Run The Jewels 3' when it was slated for release in January 13th 2017, but they dropped it on a free download on December 24th 2016 and it caught the world by surprise.  RTJ consist of producer/rapper EL-P and rapper Killer Mike, now Killer Mike is a man I have an awful amount of respect for after listening a podcast he did with Scroobius Pip where he talked about what he does outside of his music and it is an inspiration.  The man had an awful lot to say about the state of his community in America and it was one of the best and more informative podcasts I have ever heard.  It was that and other interviews which lead me to find out more about RTJ's and added them to my list of artists to review.  So, it is here and now it is time for the review.

01 - Down (Feat. Joi)

The album starts with a reflective look back at Killer Mike's and EL-P's life and how the hard times have help shape and create Run The Jewels, it is a song with confidence and a little fear about being drawn back to that previous life, not wanting to return to that existence and how there was even flirtations with death.  It is bass heavy track as you would expect, it has a brutal hook and it is a reminder of who you are listening to - they are back and they are not finished with you.

02 - Talk To Me

The first single to be dropped from 'Run The Jewels 3', this is a heavier tune which goes from topics such as #blacklivesmatter/#alllivesmatter, war, drugs, how life has changed and it all comes together with some of the best rapping I have heard for a while, the bass is so deep it should be starting earthquakes and the noise is all conquering.  It is a fucking fantastic tune, with an impact that will be felt for many years to come.

03 - Legend Has It

Released as a single on December 1st 2016, this track is a brag from beginning to finish which comes with a lot of rap; RTJ as showing off in this one and it sounds sick from beginning to end and it has a groove in there which makes so much sense.  It is larger than life, it has a lot of ego in here and that is something that you want from this music - I would hate to hear a polite rap song and this one is far from that type of tune.

04 - Call Tickerton

Going through many topics such as Aliens, sex, robbery, having to carry a weapon and everything in between; 'Call Tickerton' is a harsh number that uses minimal backing music, it is all about the rapping here and it is slicker than a medicine man in full flow.  I like that fact the music is secondary here to the raps here and that it is kept very simple, it adds to the effect of the song and it is another great track.

05 - Hey Kids (Bumaye) (Feat. Danny Brown)

A song about revolting against the master and embracing revolution due to the hellish conditions of the world and it is showing that RTJ & Danny Brown are not releasing a safe album for safe times; it is not a safe time and they are just supplying the sound track as they seen it.  It is dark, I mean it is such a dark moment that it is so fuck up that we sadly must have this type of track released again.  I love it, it is on the ball and it makes so much sense to me; I was just hoping that in 2016 that the world would have embraced the idea of not being dicks, because the repressed will eventually rise up.

06 - Stay Gold

Now this is one of the best tune of the album for me; just for the message that is at the heart of the song - Gold is not just in jewels and on your fingers.  Gold is people and family, good times and people who help you when you are down.  It is one of the best raps on the album, the music is supportive and the bass is bouncing; it all comes together to make a positive moment here that gives a mirror to the moments on this album which are steeped in protest and struggle.

07 - Don't Get Captured

This song is a representation of what is wrong with America at the moment, with people being repressed in a way that was wrong years ago and is still happening with the world turning a blind eye to it.  The repression of the Black community in America is a real thing and whilst some people want to ignore it, RTJ will not let this happen.  It is not a pretty song, it is a nasty rap for times that people very sadly find themselves in; if you are not finding this song profound and wanting to change this situation - you are reading the wrong blog and need to seek professional help.  What a tune, what a message and how powerful is the rapping on this song.

08 - Thieves (Screamed the Ghost) (Feat. Tunde Adebimpe)

A song which looks at the acts of protests, riots and repression that is the same as it ever was, this is another anthem for the held back, the people who are sick of being made into the boogie men by those in power with their telecommunication networks and controlling the finances of the world.  It is a foreshadow of what will happen when people are constantly shat on from a great height.  When you have a leader, who lives in a golden tower and people who cannot eat on the street, you are building up to a perfect storm and this song is another tune that shows the mood of the street.

09 - 2100 (Feat. BOOTS)

A song that was released just after the recent Presidential election in the USA, 2100 was meant to be a sort of calm against the negativity that permeated the country after Donald Trump’s victory.  It is a song that shows that these people in power are not to be trusted, but that you should not be scared - you should be ready for protest and to stand for what is right.  It is another protest anthem and it is a song that should be played daily.

10 - Panther Like A Panther (Miracle Mix) (Feat. Trina)

After a heavy section of songs, it is a relief to hear a song like 'Panther Like A Panther' which is about back to taking about the band themselves; it is saying they are not saints and they know it, but they have moved up from their humble beginnings and they are taking what is theirs.  It is better in the context of the album than being focused on its own, but it still holds its own with that booming bass.

11 - Everybody Stay Calm

Once again the band are back on the weed, talking how much they have and how much they are not meant to be fucked with; it is another break from the protest section of the album and it does its job well.  It is not one of my favourites on here, but it is still a decent number.

12 - Oh Mama

With a great bass line, a fantastic hook and some hard-cutting rhymes that hit as hard as anything else on this album.  It is a great tune with a mixture of concern, weed and a bit of bragging that swirls around you long after it has finished.  It is such a thick number that it is hard to ignore, a brilliant rap once again from RTJ.

13 - Thursday In The Danger Room (Feat. Kamasi Washington)

A song about two deaths - one through illness and one through murder on the streets, this is a powerful number which shows how death can affect the people left behind and how the people never really leave you once they have made an effect on you.  I cannot overstate how important this song is, it is a clever and towering number that never loses its potency or impact - song of the album, hands down.

14 - A Report To The Shareholders: Kill The Masters (Feat. Zack de la Roach)

Featuring an appearance from the Rage Against The Machine front man, these track is really two tracks which happen to follow on from each other.  It is a song about protest and killing your masters through your words and exposing their deeds, it is another protest number that demands your attention and it will make you look.  It ends this album with one more powerful statement, I would not expect it any other way from this band.

Everything about this album shows the side of society that is being shunned and discredited by the popular mainstream, it shows the people who are being trod on, the people who are made to feel like they are not human and that whilst there are good times in the mix, that the world is almost ready for a perfect storm of uprising.  It is a scary album, one that will have people either pretending it does not exist or preparing for the day that the protests rise to a perfect pitch.  It is profound, warning people not to stay quiet and to make noises; the time for making a stand is upon us, it is such a great record and it is one that I can see lasting all the way through 2017 and beyond as one of the most powerful records of this era.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart

Top Track - Thursday In The Danger Room (Feat. Kamasi Washington)

You can visit the Run The Jewels website here where you can download the digital version of the album, pre-order the physical version and find a load of other stuff out!

You can pre-order Run The Jewels 3 on Amazon here.

You can visit the Run The Jewels Facebook page here.

You can visit the Run The Jewels page on Deezer here; RTJ3 is not there at the time of writing, but I will update this link once it is up.

You can visit the Run The Jewels page on Spotify here; RTJ3 is not there at the time of writing, but I will update this link once it is up.

You can visit the Run The Jewels page on Tidal here; RTJ3 is not there at the time of writing, but I will update this link once it is up.

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