Run the Jewels – “Run the Jewels 3” review

Even though Run the Jewels announced that their long-awaited 3rd album in Mid-January of 2017, they decided to drop it out of nowhere on Christmas Eve 2016 as a present to us fans. The album starts off with “Down”, where the duo is reflecting about their previous selves & the production on here really enhances the ambitious atmosphere of this song. The next track “Talk to Me” has a war-inciting beat & I absolutely love how Killer Mike starts off the song by calling president-elect Donald Trump “Satan with a bad toupee & a spray tan”. The following verse from El-P is pretty nice, too. Especially with the Super Cat wordplay & the Rick Rubin comparison near the end of the song. The track “Legend Has It” is basically Mike & El showing us how deadly their chemistry still is & the beat is abrasive as fuck! On the track “Call Ticketron”, the duo are talking about being live from the Madison Square Garden & I love the robotic production on here. The track “Hey Kids (Bumaye)” sees the duo getting with Danny Brown to tell the children to revolt against their masters over a hard industrial sounding beat. The track “Stay Gold” has a great message & the production on here sounds kinda video-gamey (at least to me). The track “Don’t Get Captured” is a eerie warning to African Americans advising being captured by the system. On the track “Thieves! (Screamed the Ghost)”, the duo are basically explaining to the people who’re against rioting why it’s logical these days in a smart way & the beat provides an apocalyptic atmosphere throughout the song. Also, the Dr. King vocal sample near the end of the song is flawless too. The track “2100” has a haunting organ throughout & lyrically, the duo’s expressing their fears of nuclear war & another Holocaust. The album’s lead single “Panther Like a Panther” is just as riot-inciting sounding as it was when it was released in line with the Gears of War 4 trailer, but I was surprised to hear that Mike & El added Trina on the hook for the album. The track “Stay Calm” has a creepy sounding beat & once again, the way Mike & El trade bars on this song is DEADLY! On the track “Oh Mama”, the 2 are reflecting on both of their mother’s telling them that they’re not living right, but now they’re tell them that both they raised lions. The track “Thursday in the Danger Room” is a dedication to both El-P’s late Central Services cohort Camu Tao as well an unnamed friend of Killer Mike’s & the saxophone from Kamasi Washington really enhances the somber tone of the song. The album closes with “A Report to the Shareholders / Kill Your Masters”, where the duo talk about not being afraid to speak your mind & then transitioning to retaliation after the beat changes from sounding kinda uplifting to really menacing. Also, the surprise guest verse from former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha near the end is just as perfect as his verse on “Close Your Eyes (& Count to Fuck)” was. I still think the duo’s previous album Run the Jewels 2 is the best work they’ve ever done together, but I’m not gonna deny that this is yet another fantastic album in Run the Jewels’ discography. The rebellious vibes it gives off is certainly much needed & I love how the production enhances it. Just another example of why these guys are the hardest/most consistent duo in the game right now
Score: 4.5/5

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