Killer Mike and El-P enter the stage behind George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone”. This is of course corny, but no one in the crowd is laughing. In an age where things are often veiled with layers of ironic detachment, “Bad to the Bone” probably perfectly embodies the duo’s ethos of being the villain in the movie, the heel in the wrestling match, and ultimately the authentically bad ass motherf–kers that storm into your town and blast their self-titled album in your faces with the energy of a rock show – and you love every second of it.
On Aug.13, Run the Jewels hit Boston’s Paradise Rock Club, for the penultimate stop of their self-titled tour. As “Bad to the Bone” was still ringing, the self-proclaimed Stockton and Malone of rap brought out massive chains and dangled them in front of the crowd before draping themselves. The show had already criss-crossed the country to rave reviews and the affair felt celebratory. Killer Mike was drunk. Mr. Muthaf–kin’ eXquire had his shirt off. (Actually, that seems pretty standard.) And the gang of vocal vikings infiltrated the eardrums of another willing audience and lived to tell about it.
El-P’s monstrous production, bolstered by bookending musicians, rained down as the pair pelted the crowd with the majority of Run the Jewels, an album-of-the-year candidate that was released as a free download. From the titular opening track to the superb “A Christmas F–king Miracle”, hip-hop fans were treated to a pair of rappers in the peaks, practically spoiling future live performances for everybody.
The tour is now over, but you can still get their album. The hope here is that they tour again soon, maybe on a bigger stage and this time holding up the tag-team championship belts of this rap game. They earned it.
- “Run The Jewels”
- “36” Chain”
- “Banana Clipper”
- “Sea Legs”
- “Job Well done”
- “Tougher Colder Killer” (ft. Despot)
- “Get It”
- “No Come Down”
- “A Christmas F–king Miracle”