Take the Jewels and Run – El-P and Killer Mike’s Priceless Collab Record Masterpiece

Since 2002, Jaime Meline (best known by his rapper moniker El-P) has unknowingly become one of the most important rap artists of this generation. In an era where sensationalism and lavishness has conquered the hip-hop scene, El-P has locked himself away in his laboratory, all while creating memorable and poetic lyrical escapades that no one has come close to matching. Well…except Michael Render (best known as Killer Mike). Killer Mike has guest rapped on tracks by Jay-Z, OutKast and T.I., but once he started making solo albums, you could see that he didn’t really fit in with many of the artists he collaborated with. Much like El-P, Killer Mike is an intellectual rapper, one disguised behind a very approachable rapping style. When these two geniuses united on Killer Mike’s 2012 solo record, R.A.P. Music (with El-P running production), it was clear that these guys had unquestionable musical chemistry. R.A.P. Music became one of the best received albums of 2012 and anticipation for whatever they were cooking up next was reaching a crazy high. R.A.P. Music let Killer Mike’s intense rap delivery shine, with El-P’s production injecting subtle and textured concentration to the already sturdy tracks. With the duo’s official collaboration album Run the Jewels, El-P and Killer Mike let both of their established essences go crazy.

Meline’s fascination with post-apocalyptic sci-fi is what made his previous two solo albums so potent. From the frightening visions demonstrated in “Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love)” from I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead to the paranoia-infused rhymes of “True Story” from Cancer 4 Cure, it’s clear that the Philip K. Dick fan is making something far beyond the typical rhyming mindset. The steady beats don’t clash with El-P’s signature spacey production, like the haunting piano line in “DDFH” or the otherworldly distorted synth on the opening to “Get It.” The bizarre sampling and subtle uses of melody throughout the tracks signifies a yearning to experiment. That’s always been Meline’s vibe and it’s tough to see a better example of it than here.

But El-P’s influence is only one side of the brain. Killer Mike is a monster of a rapper and the way he so forcefully delivers the already intricate rhymes on “36” Chain” alongside El-P’s spacey, but echoing production is something even unlike the already amazing R.A.P. Music. “Job Well Done” punches listeners in the face with a thunderous beat; Killer Mike raps in an unreal way, one of the strongest and most intense performances on the album, but also one with a relaxed finesse. Behind the surreal beats and rhythms, Render is a blunderbuss, a rapper who blows down the doors with his rhymes and pushes back anything that gets in his way.

But it’s when these two minds come together that it’s clear there’s something special going on with Run the Jewels. One of the signature tracks “Sea Legs” has a surprisingly catchy chorus, behind lyrics that echo El-P’s literary brilliance, all with Killer Mike on the frontlines, never stopping the onslaught. “Job Well Done” has a fantastic guest appearance by Until the Ribbon Breaks and an ethereal chorus that stands out on the album considerably. The other guest appearances from Prince Paul and OutKast’s Big Boi layer the already fantastic tracks even further, slamming a varied approach to the album and keeping the whole thing feeling fresh. Even during the points where the duo hearkens back to their past projects like in “No Come Down” (which would sound perfect on Cancer 4 Cure or R.A.P. Music), there’s no sense of fatigue. Every bit of energy any musician can direct toward an album is present on Run the Jewels, but even with that, it’s an organic, almost playful album. It shows not only how seriously the duo works with their craft, but also how effortlessly they can make something truly brilliant.

Run the Jewels isn’t as cosmic as Cancer 4 Cure, nor is it as thunderous as PL3DGE, but there’s a steady balance that both Meline and Render contribute to the album. Each artist does what they do best, all without compromising the other. It doesn’t even feel like a collaboration; it feels like a rap duo purely drenched in synergy. There are no seams, no holes in the patchwork. Run the Jewels is an effortless hit, one where two undeniably talented artists leave no stone un-turned in making the album stunningly different from the rest, but still enough at home to avoid alienating either of their groups of followers.

Don’t listen to Run the Jewels because of the collaborators’ past experiences. Don’t listen to it because of the unorthodox musical approaches. Hell, don’t listen to it because it’s free to download. Listen to Run the Jewels because it’s one of the best rap albums around right now.

Run the Jewels will appear at Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar on Saturday, July 13.

run the jewels photo

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces Remaining 2013 Lineup

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THE 2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL LINEUP:

 

 WIRE, YO LA TENGO, M.I.A., LOW, SOLANGE, LIL B, SAVAGES, TORO Y MOI, PHOSPHORESCENT, METZ, AUTRE NE VEUT, MIKAL CRONIN, PARQUET COURTS, MERCHANDISE, WOODS, JULIA HOLTER, GLASS CANDY, ANDY STOTT, PISSED JEANS, FRANKIE ROSE, RYAN HEMSWORTH, WAXAHATCHEE, BLOOD ORANGE, DAUGHN GIBSON, EVIAN CHRIST, KEN MODE, WHITE LUNG and DJ RASHAD

JOINING HEADLINERS R. KELLY, BJÖRK, and BELLE & SEBASTIAN

 

and PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED ACTS: JOANNA NEWSOM, THE BREEDERS play Last Splash, SWANS, RUSTIE, EL-P, CHAIRLIFT, KILLER MIKE, TNGHT, SKY FERREIRA, …AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, MAC DEMARCO, FOXYGEN, ANGEL OLSEN, TRASH TALK, and TREE

 

JULY 19-21 AT CHICAGO’S UNION PARK

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Year after year, the Pitchfork Music Festival presents new, cutting edge artists and this year continues that tradition. The 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, happening Friday, July 19-Sunday, July 21 at Chicago’s Union Park, rounds out its lineup with an extremely diverse group of emerging artists and established legends. Added to Friday’s lineup are Wire, Mikal Cronin, Woods, Pissed Jeans, Daughn Gibson, and Frankie Rose. Saturday sees more performances by Andy Stott, Solange, Merchandise, Ryan Hemsworth, Metz, Low, Savages, Parquet Courts, Julia Holter, Ken Mode, and White Lung. And Sunday now includes Glass Candy, M.I.A., Evian Christ, Yo La Tengo, Autre Ne Veut, Waxahatchee, Blood Orange, and DJ Rashad. It’s the summer’s most adventurous festival.

 

Three-day passes are currently on sale for $120 and single day tickets are available for $50 each. Three-day passes always sell out very quickly. As previously mentioned, for the full price three-day pass, the festival is offering a special layaway program that allows fans to purchase the pass in three installments.

 

PURCHASE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS HERE:

http://tktwb.tw/Vnn09y

Visit http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com and http://facebook.com/PitchforkMusicFestival for more information. Follow @pitchforkfest for the latest news, announcements and exclusive content.

 

THE 2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP:

 

Friday

Björk

Joanna Newsom

Wire

Woods

Mikal Cronin

Angel Olsen

Pissed Jeans

Daughn Gibson

Trash Talk

Frankie Rose

 

Saturday

Belle & Sebastian

Solange

The Breeders play Last Splash

Savages

Swans

Rustie

Low

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

Phosphorescent

Andy Stott

Mac DeMarco

Ryan Hemsworth

Julia Holter

Parquet Courts

Merchandise

Metz

Ken Mode

White Lung

 

Sunday

R. Kelly

M.I.A.

Yo La Tengo

Lil B

Toro Y Moi

TNGHT

El-P

Killer Mike

Chairlift

Foxygen

Sky Ferreira

Glass Candy

Autre Ne Veut

Evian Christ

Waxahatchee

Blood Orange

DJ Rashad

Tree

 

In its eighth year, the independently run, three-day event continues to be one of the most inviting, reasonably priced, and exciting weekends of music around, offering a carefully curated lineup reflecting the best of what is happening in music.

 

In addition to its musical offerings, the Pitchfork Music Festival also features a wide array of other activities. The fest not only supports local businesses with its 50 individual vendors and specialty fairs, but also promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole to 50,000 attendees of all ages from all over the world.

 

Pitchfork is the essential guide to independent music and beyond. With more than four million unique readers and 40 million page views per month, the site has earned an extremely loyal following and a reputation as being one of the world’s most trusted music publications.

Pitchfork Music Festival Adds Joanna Newsom, The Breeders, Swans, TNGHT, Rustie, El-P, Killer Mike & More to 2013 Lineup

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THE 2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES INITIAL LINEUP, JOINING HEADLINERS R. KELLY, BJÖRK and BELLE & SEBASTIAN:

 

JOANNA NEWSOM, THE BREEDERS play Last Splash, SWANS, RUSTIE, EL-P,

CHAIRLIFT, KILLER MIKE, TNGHT, SKY FERREIRA,

…AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, MAC DEMARCO,

FOXYGEN, ANGEL OLSEN, TRASH TALK, and TREE

 

JULY 19-21 AT CHICAGO’S UNION PARK

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

 

The Pitchfork Music Festival, happening Friday, July 19-Sunday, July 21 at Chicago’s Union Park, is excited to expand on the 2013 lineup. On Friday, in addition to Björk, the festival welcomes

Joanna Newsom, Angel Olsen, and Trash Talk. Saturday will see performances by The Breeders playing Last Splash, Rustie, Swans, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, and Mac DeMarco, in addition to previously announced headliner Belle & Sebastian. And joining R. Kelly on Sunday will be Chairlift, TNGHT, Sky Ferreira, Killer Mike, El-P, Foxygen and TreeThere are still over two dozen more artists to announce in the coming weeks.

Three-day passes are currently on sale for $120 and single day tickets are available for $50 each. Three-day passes sell out very quickly so don’t delay! As previously mentioned, for the full price three-day pass, the festival is offering a special layaway program that allows fans to purchase the pass in three installments.

PURCHASE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS HERE:

http://tktwb.tw/Vnn09y

 

Visit http://www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/PitchforkMusicFestival for more information. Follow @pitchforkfest for the latest news, announcements and exclusive content.

THE 2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP:

Friday

Björk

Joanna Newsom

Angel Olsen

Trash Talk

Saturday

Belle & Sebastian

The Breeders play Last Splash

Rustie

Swans

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

Mac DeMarco

Sunday

R. Kelly

Chairlift

TNGHT

Sky Ferreira

Killer Mike

El-P

Foxygen

Tree

In its eighth year, the independently run, three-day event continues to be one of the most inviting, reasonably priced and exciting weekends of music around, offering a cutting edge and thoughtfully curated lineup.

In addition to its musical offerings, the Pitchfork Music Festival also features a wide array of other activities. The fest not only supports local businesses and economy with its 50 individual vendors and specialty fairs, but also promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole to its 50,000 attendees of all ages from all over the world.

Pitchfork is the essential guide to independent music and beyond. With more than four million unique readers and 40 million page views per month, the site has earned an extremely loyal following and a reputation as being one of the world’s most trusted music publications.