Like many others, I loved the unexpected pairing of Killer Mike and El-P as Run The Jewels. The combination of bass heavy beats and hard rhymes sounded fresh and relevant. It was released as a free download that seemed to come out of nowhere and never took itself too seriously. When I first read about their plans to make a more ambitious, officially sponsored sequel I wasn’t sure it would work. Well, clearly I was wrong. Their formula hasn’t changed a bit but that’s to their distinct advantage. If anything the beats push harder and the razor sharp lyrics are bolder and more in your face. It’s a supremely confident record that shows just how good real rap can still sound in the midst of today’s watered down landscape of fashion slaves, laptop producers and style biters. It’s a little too early to say for certain, but I think I like it even more than the original. Ian Cohen wrote a masters-thesis level review of RTJ2 over at Pitchfork that’s a must-read for any fan of the record or hip-hop in general.

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