Photo by Timothy Saccenti


Run The Jewels

Dec. 3
6 p.m.

Rappers are typically expected to lose vitality as they enter middle age, but Atlanta’s Killer Mike and Brooklyn’s El-P have bucked the norm as the bludgeoning duo Run the Jewels. Their different backgrounds made their partnership seem unlikely at first: Mike a whip-smart, ever-impassioned Southern rap crusader, El an experimentalist whose influence as both an MC and producer has permeated underground rap for 20 years. The now 42-year-olds’ creative relationship began in earnest when El produced the entirety of Mike’s 2012 solo album R.A.P. Music and Mike guested on El’sCancer 4 Cure, released just a week later. As Run the Jewels, they’ve since released three self-titled albums full of gloriously aggro rap that’s by turns political, personal, and pure shit-talk. Following the first installment and 2014’s even better RTJ2, Mike and El’s most recent LP, last December’sRTJ3, recaptured its predecessors’ magic while bringing various new elements into the fold, such as jazz messiah Kamasi Washington’s snaking sax on “Thursday in the Danger Room.” With British alt-pop newcomer Bishop Briggs, Doomtree offshoot Shredders, and more.