RTJ2 is a steamroller of an album, packed with enough assonance and alliteration to school an AP English literature class.
Both emcees are incredibly versatile, switching up speed, style and tone, playing off each other one minute, one-upping each other the next.
Run The Jewels 2 is concussive. The sequel takes the simplistic thrills of the debut and expands the duo’s natural chemistry. With Killer Mike grounded at the album’s emotional core, El-P is free to indulge in his intrepid production tendencies.
An album like RTJ2 is rare. Decades from now, this album may just be revered as one of the best hip-hop records of our era, the total synchronicity of two talented artists reaching the apex of their prime.
If the first album was the supernova, RTJ2 is the RTJ universe forming, proving that Mike and El-P's one-off can be a going, and ever growing, concern.
The egotistic pairing of KIller Mike and El-P are welcoming the challenge, undergoing the seemingly impossible task of raising their blitzkrieg social onslaught to new heights.
It's been a minute, but RTJ have reminded us that, yes, rap music can be fun and opinionated simultaneously. In fact, that's when the genre is at its best.
You can feel the effort with every syllable, that this music is coming from their very core.
Sounding like nothing else and answering to nobody but its creators, Run the Jewels 2 is in a class by itself.
This is the best relationship in rap music right now; more than producer/rapper, Render and Meline truly are brothers in arms and they’re here to give us all the push we need to take on the world.
Cranking the urgency and confrontation of last year's self-titled debut to neck-breaking levels of intensity, 'RTJ2' is an urgent, paranoid album for a violent, panicked time.
RTJ2 is filled with such thoughtful, penetrating moments, tightly wound up in 11 bona fide bangers. It’s a rare collaborative effort that works just as well for newcomers to either contributor as for longtime fans tracking their artistic progress.
More aggressive than its predecessor, RTJ2 keeps the party going and explores new arenas in both lyric and sound.
Whether it's rage or just two guys trying to make each other laugh with dark humor, RTJ2 stands tall in a year of weak hip-hop.
Run the Jewels 2 is better than Run the Jewels 1 and is on par with R.A.P. Music, which is a tough task.
Both rappers are clearly in their comfort zones, elevating and challenging one another where the occasion requires. The aesthetics and delivery of RTJ2 are very similar to Run the Jewels; the biggest differences can be found in the lyrics.
Run The Jewels 2 is the sound of two 39-year-old men having the best mid-life crisis ever, making near-the-knuckle rap bangers right on the boundary line between the underground and the mainstream.
If their first album acted as the duo’s thesis statement, the two MCs laying out the blueprint to what they wanted to accomplish, then this second is a laser-focused execution of that idea, of never letting up and never sugar-coating their sound to fit into any particular lane.
Lording up on a gross lack of restraint, it’s a killer blow that keeps on killing, a reminder of just how mad music can be without drowning in self-indulgence.
You can probably ascribe their success to two things; one, that they have the intelligence to constantly play to their strengths - RTJ2 is replete with razor-sharp lyricism and clattering, abrasive production - and two, that they don’t hide behind anything.
On their second album as Run the Jewels, noise-loving Brooklyn rapper-producer El-P and Atlanta's Killer Mike make the most explosive hip-hop you'll hear all year.
Run the Jewels 2 takes the collaboration to the next level, establishing the duo as a unit – and one that’s not to be messed with.
Run The Jewels has again pushed rap away from regular rhythms and rhymes and into territories that they’re still calculating the dimensions of.
Their style is also a fusion – of El-P’s abrasive, experimental New York styling with Mike’s smooth, almost laconic, Atlanta flow.
Outside of “Love Again,” the album is chock-full of jams from front to back, and RTJ2, in its astonishing scope and finesse, continues a tradition of greatness for the unlikely duo, and serves as one of the more distinguished bright spots in an otherwise stale year for hip-hop.
|# 2 -||A.V. Club|
|# 2 -||Billboard|
|# 5 -||Clash|
|# 1 -||CMJ|
|# 1 -||Complex|
|# 2 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 11 -||Crack Magazine|
|# 8 -||CraveOnline|
|# 2 -||Entertainment Weekly|
|# 8 -||FasterLouder|
|# 3 -||Flavorwire|
|# 5 -||Gigwise|
|# 16 -||Grantland (Steven Hyden)|
|# 25 -||musicOMH|
|# 14 -||NME|
|# 17 -||No Ripcord|
|# 25 -||Noisey|
|# 1 -||Passion of the Weiss|
|# 3 -||Paste|
|# 2 -||Pazz & Jop|
|# 2 -||Pigeons & Planes|
|# 1 -||Pitchfork|
|# 1 -||PopMatters|
|# 5 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 8 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 17 -||Slant Magazine|
|# 3 -||SPIN|
|# 48 -||Sputnikmusic|
|# 1 -||Stereogum|
|# 14 -||The 405|
|# 7 -||The Guardian|
|The Line of Best Fit|
|# 12 -||The Skinny|
|# 8 -||The Wire|
|# 7 -||Time Out New York|
|# 12 -||Under the Radar|
|# 2 -||Vibe|
|# 2 -||Vulture|
|# 3 -||Wondering Sound|
|# 2 -||Billboard (Rap)|
|# 1 -||Exclaim! (Hip Hop)|
|# 29 -||NME (2010-2014)|
|# 208 -||SPIN (1985-2014)|
|# 1 -||SPIN (Hip Hop)|
|# 1 -||Stereogum (Rap)|