Album Review | Run the Jewels

This album was released on June 26th in 2013. Believe it or not, this is actually gonna be my first time hearing this album. In fact, the only album from RTJ that I’ve ever actually heard is the second one. I’m really excited to finally be hearing this because I loved the second one, and the final two solo albums from Mike & El-P were amazing. I don’t even have much to say about this project before listening to it. I’m just excited to finally be hearing it. Every song is produced by El-P.

1. Run the Jewels co-produced by Little Shalimar

The beat on this track is phenomenal. OOOOHHH SHIT… El-P’s flow on this first verse is bananas. He killed that shit. Ohohoho! Gotdamn. The way Killer Mike ended his first verse was amazing. He was talking about robbing some lady and he ended up shooting her poodle. This shit is NASTY. I just love how fuckin’ mean these guys sound. The hook is super simplistic, but it does its job perfectly. El-P’s flow on this track is so fucking good. I’ve love how they’re trading verses after the first recital of the hook. That line El-P had about a nun getting a cumshot was crazy. This is an amazing way to start the album. I think this song is fucking incredible. I live for this shit. It’s dope af.

2. Banana Clipper featuring Big Boi

GotDAMN. This beat is insane. I love the way Mike & El-P are trading bars on this track. They have really great chemistry. I really like the way this song is structured too. There’s no hook or anything; they’re just rapping the whole time. Again, these guys are super aggressive and mean on the microphone.

Me and Jaime killed the competition; top of the heap
Is where we stayin’ with they corpses resting under our feet
I sent they mom a little cash and a sympathy letter
Told her she raised a bunch a fuck boys, next time do better, bitch

They killed this shit. Although it should be noted that Mike rhymed the word “feet” with itself three times. The final verse from Big Boi definitely wasn’t on the same level as what Mike & El-P did, but it was still good. His flow was dope. This is a really great track. I don’t think it’s quite as good as the opening track, but it’s still really fantastic. I love the production, and Mike & El-P killed it. This is dope af.

3. 36″ Chain co-produced by Little Shalimar

This song has another amazing beat. It sounds like a video game. The first verse from Killer Mike is pretty nice. It didn’t blow me away like most of the other verses on this album so far, but it was pretty good. The simplistic hook from El-P is cool too. El-P definitely impressed me more than Mike on this track. He had more memorable lines to me. Especially those last four bars in the song.

Anybody looking for some trouble better self med
We could double dutch in a minefield, hell gets
Just the right temperature, break beat minister
Riverdance cleats on your face for the finisher

This song isn’t as amazing as the first couple of tracks in my opinion, but it’s still a good song. There’s nothing particularly bad about it. The beat’s fantastic, and the verses are pretty good too. This shit is dope. The music video was hilarious too.

4. DDFH

The title of this song is an acronym that stands for “Do Dope, Fuck Hope,” which is an idea further explored in an episode of Killer Mike’s new Netflix original TV show, Trigger Warning. It’s a pretty entertaining show. I highly recommend it, and this is coming from someone who rarely watches TV. Anyway, the production on this track is amazing. The first verse from Killer Mike is similar to some of what was heard on R.A.P. Music. There are a lot of lyrics about crooked police officers. The melodic hook on this track is really good. El-P’s verse was great. Honestly, I think the hook is my favorite aspect of this song. I like how the percussion kind of deteriorates at the end of the song. I think this track is really fantastic. It’s a step up from the previous track. It’s still not on the level of the intro, but it’s dope af to me.

5. Sea Legs

Man, the production on this track is crazy. I love the way El-P’s verse starts before the percussion comes in. He killed that first verse.

I move through the room like an animal fooling a master
But I don’t got love for the hand with the food, matter fact I am drooling at that shit
I don’t only bite, but I’m rabid
Try to pet my fucking head again and I’mma put a tooth through the flesh of the palm that you jack with

His flow was great. I think this song has one of the best hooks on the album. The melodic vocals that say “sea legs” are really interesting. The weird effect on whoever that is’ voice kinda reminds me of TOBACCO’s vocals on Malibu Ken. Killer Mike’s verse actually seems to contain some shots toward Kanye West & Jay-Z. He referenced the songs Mercy & Niggas in Paris, and even said that he has no respect for The Throne. I’m not really sure where that came from, but it’s dope. He killed this shit. I actually think I like his verse more than that of El-P, which usually isn’t the case when I listen to Run the Jewels. I think this is one of the best songs on the album so far. This shit is dope af.

6. Job Well Done featuring Until the Ribbon Breaks co-produced by Little Shalimar & Wilder Zoby

I love how hard hitting the production on this track is. Jesus fuck. Killer Mike sounds like an absolute monster on this first verse. I love how fuckin’ bloodthirsty his delivery is. He murdered the fuck outta that shit. This is amazing. I love the sung hook from Until the Ribbon Breaks, who I’m not familiar with. Lmaoo. I love how they sampled a dolphin noise during El-P’s verse. Anytime I hear a dolphin noise it makes me laugh. El-P’s verse was really great too. That shit he said about the priest was awesome. This is another one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion. Mike & El murdered this shit, and I liked the featured artist on the hook too. This shit is dope af.

7. No Come Down co-produced by Little Shalimar

The production on this track is pretty great. This song is pretty much just about getting dangerously high. The first verse from El-P was great. The hook from Killer Mike is actually pretty good. The story Killer Mike told in the second verse was cool. This song doesn’t blow me away at all like the other tracks on the album. Nothing about it is bad at all though. I really like the production, and the two verses are great. The hook’s nice too. I fuck with this track. It’s dope.

8. Get It

I know I’ve heard this song before, but I don’t really remember it. The beat on this track is pretty great, but it’s not blowing me away like a lot of the other instrumentals on this project. The first two verses from El-P & Mike are really good. The hook is actually really great too. I like the way they start trading verses after the first recital of the hook. At one point in this song Killer Mike actually uses the term “chin check.” If you read my recent review of Method Man’s second album you know why that’s an interesting coincidence. He also has a line towards the end of the song about how even if you have seven figures you’re still a nigga, so Killer Mike did it first. Jay-Z is no longer a genius for The Story of OJ. Just kidding. Anyway, I was kind of torn on this song at first. I definitely like it, but I didn’t know whether to call it “dope af” or just “dope.” I think I’m gonna go with the former though. I really like this track. It’s dope af.

9. Twin Hype Back featuring Chest Rockwell co-produced by Little Shalimar & Wilder Zoby

For those of you who don’t know, Chest Rockwell is an alias of Prince Paul. He uses it for that Handsome Boy Modeling School group he formed with Dan the Automator. Anyway, he pretty much just talks on this song. He doesn’t sing or rap or anything. That’s probably for the best. The production on this track is very hard hitting. I guess that can be said for pretty much every track on this album. Once again Killer Mike & El-P are trading verses on this track. The lyrics are super disrespectful. El-P probably had the most relatable line when he said that without sin he’d hate life. That line about how he fucks in his church shoes was pretty relatable too. Just kidding. There’s not really a hook on this song. To break up the verses, we just get some speech from Chest Rockwell. I feel like the weird, aggressively sexual shit he says would normally bother me, but it just made laugh when I heard it.

I love to make love to your booty hole

I guess this track is pretty much a Pornocore song. It doesn’t really bother me though. It’s not sexual in a disturbing way. It’s just kinda funny to me to be honest. El-P killed that last verse. The way his flow picked up was dope as hell. It was also a reference to Audio Two’s Top Billin’ song, which is cool. The shit Prince Paul said at the end of the track was hilarious. This song is fantastic. I love it. It’s dope af.

10. A Christmas Fucking Miracle co-produced by Little Shalimar

This is another song that I know I’ve heard before, but I don’t really remember it very well. The production on this track is a little slower paced than a lot of the other tracks. It’s a fantastic beat. I really like the way this song is structured. There’s no hook. It’s just two verses from El-P & Mike. This is probably the most umm… Well, I’ll say it’s the least ignorant song on the album. They’re not just rapping about being mean guys who are cruel and will rob you. The first verse from El-P is actually kinda deep. Killer Mike’s verse is amazing. I honestly like his verse more than El-P’s. The production on this track is absolutely amazing. This might actually be my favorite beat on the whole album. This song is incredible honestly. The two verses are fantastic, and the production is immaculate. The music video is pretty great too. I love this shot…

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 9.42.14 PM

I think this song is perfect. It’s dope af.


This album is amazing. I loved every single track. There were a couple songs on this album that didn’t blow me away like the rest of the material here, but they were still really good. There’s not a speck of wackness on this project. The production is stellar, and El-P & Killer Mike have superb chemistry. I love how aggressive this project is lyrically. These dudes come off mean as hell in the coolest way possible. I love this shit. It’s dope af.

Favorite Song: A Christmas Fucking Miracle
Least Favorite Track: No Come Down

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Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.

90-95
Grade: A

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