Run the Jewels - RTJ4
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2020 Ratings: #3 / 668
User Score
2020 Ratings: #1
Liked by 228 people
June 3, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Jewel Runners, BMG / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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runthejewels.net / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Sputnikmusic
The magic of their music is that you feel like a part of something bigger than yourself, like you can overcome your own cowardice or at least admit to its existence deep within.
100
Spill Magazine

Taking the unflinching and abrasive aggression of 2014’s Run The Jewels 2 and the sophistication of 2016’s Run The Jewels 3, RTJ4 is a hip-hop masterpiece that truly advances Run The Jewels’ sound forward in a distinctive, exciting, and unique direction.

100
The Line of Best Fit

RTJ4 is Killer Mike & El-P’s masterstroke. This is musical evolution for moral, social and political revolution, the group now creating anthems in the pursuit of tolerance, respect and unity.

100
NME
The righteous rap duo take on police brutality and the fear-mongering media. If a hip-hop album alone could change the world, this might do it.
100
DIY
‘RTJ4’ is by far Killer Mike and El-P’s most accomplished chapter, wrought with rage but injected with a humour and wisdom that offers razor-sharp clarity and, with that, an unapologetically raw and sobering take on our times.
100
Dork
Their most laser-focused, high-intensity record yet.
100
The Observer

Killer Mike and El-P have always traded dazzlingly intricate verses, all alliteration and propulsive rhymes, over inventive, nonlinear productions, and RTJ4 supersizes their outsider aesthetic without squandering any hard-won authenticity.

96
HipHopDX

RTJ4 cements Killer Mike and El-P’s right to be mentioned amongst the greats, especially in the realm of politically charged Hip Hop.

91
Consequence of Sound
Killer Mike and El-P craft a hard-hitting manifesto of boisterous anthems and fearless criticism.
90
Northern Transmissions
Run The Jewels are giving you the soundtrack to fight the oppressors and the antidote to today’s unrelenting barrage of bullshit.
90
Clash

‘RTJ4’ is a must listen. It is diverse enough to appeal to even the hardest crowds.

90
AllMusic

Much like reality, the raw and unflinching RTJ4 is a lot to take in, both a balm for the rage and fuel to keep the fire burning. Although eerily prescient, RTJ4 is less prophetic and more a case of deja vu, addressing the endemic issues of a broken country that sadly continue.

90
Exclaim!
Run the Jewels capture our troubled times brilliantly with 'RTJ4' — but police brutality is sadly always relevant.
90
Slant Magazine
The album advances the thesis that the nature of modern life is inherently carceral.
90
Louder Than War

RTJ4 is a visceral album pulsing with anger and energy; the world is on fire but thankfully so are Run the Jewels. The duo felt important when they dropped their debut album in 2013, now they feel utterly essential.

90
Under The Radar
The album is truly Run the Jewels’ best album to date, without a weak performance or lackluster track to be found. Moreover, it is an explosive call for unity against systemic injustice, and a riveting work of righteous fury.
90
Albumism

Run the Jewels captures these feelings of anger and uncertainty, and channels them into musical form. Like real revolution, it’s not always pretty, but its wholly satisfying and never half steps.

87
Paste
The duo’s fourth album is the culmination of history, trauma and rage.
85
Spectrum Culture

It’s hard to gauge the “importance” of an album as new and fresh in the mind as RTJ4, but even if the day comes when its themes won’t be socially relevant anymore, one can imagine that its power as a work of art will not dissipate over time.

83
Pitchfork
On their fourth installment, Killer Mike and El-P are back to tune up the ruling class and the racist police state, this time streamlining the process and settling into their most natural rhythm.
80
Rolling Stone

The agit-rap duo’s fourth LP was recorded before America was ignited in protest, but it still feels perfectly apt for 2020 America.

80
The Independent

Killer Mike and El-P have long-since learnt how to turn their words into ammunition, but this is a distillation of all their anger and elation, hurt and love.

80
The Needle Drop

RTJ4 is a vital soundtrack to our rotten, rotten world.

80
musicOMH

With this album they add several more tunes to a rich canon of protest music that will galvanise an oppositional movement.

80
FLOOD Magazine

This all makes for an album both cerebral and primal-scream angry. Both rappers are in prime form; El-P is cuttingly funny and incisive, and Killer Mike has rarely been better.

80
Loud and Quiet

There’s a dichotomy at the heart of records like this. RTJ4 is a stark reminder that the consumption of art as either entertainment or cultural document are two inseparable actions.

80
The Young Folks

Run the Jewels prove themselves to be a great band on RTJ4, and not just a combination of two separate talents working together.

80
PopMatters

RTJ4 is exactly what you'd expect from two guys who have been down this road three times before without ever missing the mark.

80
Q Magazine
This is the sound of RTJ staking their claim as one of the all-time great hip-hop duos.
80
Uncut

Their fourth self-titled LP crackles with a wisecracking energy, the pair ricocheting between righteous state-of-the-nation address and the sort of goofy mischief the Beastie Boys dealt in circa III Communication.

78
Beats Per Minute

Right off the bat, RTJ4 is the most mature effort for the group, as it does away with a lot of what made the previous efforts unbearable for those few left unassimilated: sophomoric dick jokes and chest pumping.

BradTasteMusic
NR
I love you Killer Mike, thank you for this, hope you best of luck on your fight against the injustices
PipePanic
92
We needed this right now. (Written on the bus, we going raw)

Recently I've been feeling creatively bankrupt. Everytime I go to write something, I'm met with a burning sense of 'why bother'. The world is burning in a virus infested planet, with everywhere you go to turn you are met with the same cries injustice and pain that black people have been facing for so long that has now boiled up and purtruded like a sickening broth or the pig crap silo for The Simpsons Movie, and with a lack of ... read more
Doublez
86
At this painful hour that the United States is going through, which finally touches all the sensible and respectable men of the world, there was nothing better than the duo RTJ to make their voices shout.

It was so much awaited, 4 years later, this last volume has nothing to envy to the others. With an expected brutality, the duo didn't chew, nor mumbled, their words and messages, remaining faithful to themselves. Yet they knew how to develop and evolve their formula which had already seduced ... read more
TreyLikesBands
91
Well, it took 4 years of waiting. Was it worth it? Uh huh...
Jaime and Mike have poured their hearts and souls into their 4th installment of the eponymous series, with an even more political direction and free-flowing form. Every track contributes to the overall empowering narrative but still provides a fun yet introspective vibe. The centerpiece banger is definitely the bouncy and head-bobbing “JU$T”, and the inspiring finale to the narrative is the ultimate protest. Clearly, this ... read more
snowman
80
in my mind, there was basically no way this wasn’t going to be good. i mean it’s killer mike & el p.
the chemistry is flawless, the production is fresh and exciting, the lyrics hit HARD, and it’s more personal than any other RTJ release in my opinion.
I really have nothing negative to say other than I need time for this to sink in a bit more. Right now i’m gonna rock with an 8.
best track: holy calamafuck
least best track: i genuinely cant pick one
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Track List

  1. yankee and the brave (ep. 4)
  2. ooh la la (feat. Greg Nice & DJ Premier)
  3. out of site (feat. 2 Chainz)
  4. holy calamafuck
  5. goonies vs. E.T.
  6. walking in the snow
  7. JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack de la Rocha)
  8. never look back
  9. the ground below
  10. pulling the pin (feat. Joshua Homme & Mavis Staples)
  11. a few words for the firing squad (radiation)
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Added on: December 20, 2018