Today in Hip Hop History: October 24, 2014
Hip hop duo Run the Jewels released their second collaborative album, Run the Jewels 2, through Nas‘s Mass Appeal Records in 2014. Run the Jewels formed in 2013 with New York City-based producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike. Run the Jewels 2 was released for free digital download in addition to being available on CD and vinyl. The album was produced by El-P with help from Little Shalimar, Wilder Zoby and Boots. It featured vocals from Zack de la Rocha, Boots, Travis Barker, Gangsta Boo and Diane Coffee.
Run the Jewels 2 contained three different singles; “Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1,” “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” and “Close Your Eyes.” It consists of 11 tracks with one iTunes exclusive bonus track and an overall length of 39 minutes.
Run the Jewels represents an interesting conflict in hip hop. Their sound remains dark, gritty and retains an underground-like sound but they excel at a mainstream level. The layered production of the album mixed well with Killer Mike’s deep-voiced gangsta raps. The successfully indie duo have teamed up to much success this far and Run the Jewels 2 is no exception.
Run the Jewels 2 received rave critical reviews and moderate comercial success. It peaked at #50 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #6 on the Top Rap Albums Chart. It moved over 12,000 copies in its first week. Additionally, Rolling Stone named Run the Jewels 2 its Best Rap Album of 2014 and Pitchfork named it the best album of 2014.
The duo created a follow-up to Run the Jewels 2, entitled Meow the Jewels, an album featuring production of remixed cat noises. It started as a Kickstarter campaign and raised 150% of the original goal to fund the cat album.