I may have already detailed Adult Swim’s huge contribution to hip-hop in the past, but I think they’re owed another “thank you.”
For those not in the know, Killer Mike and El-P were first introduced in 2011 through Cartoon Network executive Jason DeMarco, a meeting that spawned Killer Mike’s seminal Producto-produced album R.A.P. Music, and eventually, the formation of one of the most exciting supergroups hip-hop has ever bore witness to: Run The Jewels.
Over the past three years, Run The Jewels have dominated the underground with their abrasive brand of hip-hop — one that combines brilliant socio-political musings with low-brow braggadocio in the same way that South Park has achieved in their own medium.
While 2015 was devoid of a proper Run The Jewels release—Meow The Jewels was a hilarious and genius piece of novelty that ultimately lacked replay value—Jamie and Mike have returned to form today (October 24) with the release of the first single from RTJ3, “Talk To Me.”
“Talk To Me” is not just our first taste of the upcoming third album from the duo, it’s a gut-punch of a summation of their previous work that finds the two at their most focused and honed.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio, Killer Mike described the track as, “The soundtrack to World War III and the apocalypse,” and he couldn’t have been more spot-on.
El-P’s production continues to morph and condense into a sound that no one in hip-hop has had the audacity to even attempt to duplicate, and Mike is consistently reaching new lyrical heights with each release.
On “Talk To Me,” Mike manages to address the 2016 election, his increasing militancy, and Black Lives Matter in a verse that still contains all the nut-grabbing confidence that makes him a force to be reckoned with on the mic.
Rhyme animal, pitbull terrier / Rap terrorist, terrorize, tear it up / Brought gas and the matches to flare it up / Militant Michael might go psycho / On any ally or rival / Born black, that's dead on arrival / My job is to fight for survival / In spite of these all lives matter ass white folk
As with Run The Jewel’s most shining moments, Mike sets El-P up for lyrical excellence, allowing his partner in rhyme to abuse his own instrumental with nihilistic warnings and expert one-upmanship.
Brave men didn't die face down in the Vietnam mud so I could not style on you / I didn't walk uphill both ways to the booth and back to not wile on you / You think baby Jesus killed Hitler just so I'd whisper?
With “Talk To Me,” Run The Jewels have once again cemented themselves as the heroes we currently need in this fucked up world. Unflinching, unforgiving, and so far: untouchable.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram