Fuck it, why wait?

RTJ4 Cover

Run the Jewels released “RTJ4” today, two days ahead of schedule because of recent events in the US. It is available on the streaming services, but also as a free download again. You can combine the download with a donation that will go to the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Fund, a network of lawyers, legal workers, and law students providing legal support for political activists, protesters, and movements for social change.

Naturally, I spent the evening listening to the album. Both musically and lyrically, Killer Mike’s and El-P’s long-awaited fourth album is their greatest yet. The duo is arguably the best hip-hop has to offer at the moment. The combination of El-P’s powerful, multi-faceted, raw but masterfully produced beats and woke, punch-you-in-the-face lyrics full of rage makes for a unique combination. Andrew Barker puts it best in his review for Variety when he calls the music “ever mutating and nodding to hip-hop’s roots while gazing steadily forward”. Jon Dolan writes for Rolling Stone: “The lyrics are designed to shake even the most self-regardingly woke of us out of our complacency. […] The music bounces as much as it brays, with an elastic flow and deep history.”

Lately, people have been sharing the ten albums that defined their musical taste on Twitter. I haven’t participated yet. But this album is where it all leads to for me.

They promise education, but really they give you tests and scores
And they predictin’ prison population by who scoring the lowest
And usually the lowest scores the poorest and they look like me
And every day on evening news they feed you fear for free
And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me
And ‘til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, ‘I can’t breathe’
And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV
The most you give’s a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy
But truly the travesty, you’ve been robbed of your empathy.

Killer Mike, Walking in the Snow, RTJ4


This is the eighth post of my 100 days of writing series. You can find a list of all posts here.


8 Webmentions

Photo of Matthias Ott
Matthias Ott
????; I am writing a long article every 365 days…