AOTY 2021
Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2013 Ratings: #18 / 1080
Year End Rank: #29
User Score
2013 Ratings: #62
Liked by 69 people
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Run The Jewels is no exception to the group's preexisting cannon of groundbreaking releases. 

The Skinny

With Run The Jewels, El-P and Killer Mike deliver an object lesson in the first principles of hip-hop. The beats are a showcase in minimalist effectiveness – walking the line between sick, infectious loops, and breaks and bridges which mirror and emphasise the stress-points of the lyrical content.

The 405

It's still going to take a much stronger, more original, and more distinctive album than Yeezus to knock this off its perch as rap album of the year so far.

God Is in the TV
They’ve taken rap back from the businessmen and they’ve done it in broad daylight. But there’s no getaway car. No resulting car chase. The goblins were awakened and they’re standing tall at the scene of the crime, sharing a blunt and daring anybody to try and catch them.

It’s powerful in both delivery and in effect, without being heavy-handed or sacrificing form. Both rappers take the opportunity to show their longtime supporters that they were right all these years, that they bet on the right horses. 


It's just a distilled take on everything that made last year's albums such an event, with all the chrome ripped off and upholstery pulled out so it'll run faster, louder, nastier.

Spectrum Culture
Run the Jewels does so well at conveying the current urban struggle that is exists outside of 2013, eventually deserving placement within the works of socially-conscious artists like Nas, Black Star and Zion I.
Beats Per Minute

This is sound of two dons recognising their rightful place at the top of the summit, surveying their kingdom and proceeding to piss all over it. 

Consequence of Sound

Run the Jewels ... is the very synthesis of El-P and Mike’s shared admiration and cohesive worldviews, an effort of the purest collaboration and mutual understanding.

FACT Magazine

Run the Jewels is savage and witty, rich in gritty truths and genuinely affecting wisdom. It may not be the best thing either artist has done, but fans of both will still find plenty to love.


It's a swaggering victory lap for two artists at the peak of their creativity; it's a record that sees their talents fused in the most cohesive way; it's a coming together of immense talents.

Drowned in Sound

They have the dynamic of a vintage rap twosome, complete with the vocal cues and set-up lines that you just don’t get from artists operating out of different studios. 


It’s a harsh listen that’s likely more obscure to casual, Top-40 listeners than R.A.P. Music. That’s too bad for them, because Mike and El-P seemingly unleash every item in their B-boy tool kit this time around. 


This quick, free joint project is comparatively frizzy, and doesn't leave a bruising stain of forced mind expansion -- just a pleasant memory of good times had by reclaiming “jewels” from the corporate overlords of mainstream rap

Tiny Mix Tapes
This is an unfettered, deservedly ecstatic victory lap that’s riddled with in-jokes.
These 10 tracks comprise a head-and-shoulders-above collection that immediately imprints itself as one of the best hip-hop records of 2013 so far.
The Independent
It’s a masterful set, stuffed with brooding, industrial-synth beats.

The introductory salvo from rap superduo Run the Jewels is a fine example of a union that is so perfect one might wonder how the universe existed before it.

The Irish Times
This new free-to-download album is a collection of rich, energised high watermark moments showing that Jigga and Ye aren’t the only rappers who combine forces.
The Line of Best Fit

Run the Jewels not only surmounts Charybdis, but does so head held high, able to be considered – and enjoyed – upon its own merits.


Run The Jewels is no classic, but a ferocious, fun record. You heard the men: up those rings and chains for the dopest villainous duo.

Rolling Stone
The vibe is somewhere between the coherence of an album and the casual flow of a mixtape.
I was never that enthused over their debut album, it feels too monotonous. The instrumentals are quite samey throughout, they don’t feel ambitious at all. Most of EL-P’s production on previous projects, was daring, experimental in all the best ways and quite enchanting. Here he kinda falls short for me, they played it too safe. I also think they didn’t have that much chemistry. They definitely gained it on latter projects, but here they’re a bit disconnected. Don’t ... read more
Even in their earliest forms, RTJ proves that they can make some of the best experimental hip hop out there.

The chemistry between El-P and Killer Mike on their debut album is insane, with tracks like "Run the Jewels" and "Banana Clipper", with the booming bass kicks and glitchy distortion. Not to mention the fact that "A Christmas Fucking Miracle" is one of RTJ's best songs and is criminally underrated. However, there are two duds on here that take away from the ... read more
Rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer El-P come together to create an absolute power duo on their debut, Run The Jewels. The production is somewhat simple yet incredibly effective, as El-P's production is just immaculate throughout the entire project. Both Killer Mike and El-P flow incredibly well over these beats, and on top of that their chemistry is unstoppable. They never feel like they're fighting for the spotlight on this album. But overall, it's a very sharp, clean and solid debut for ... read more
i love rtj, but this is kind of a rough start for the band. don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments and lots of potential shown but there are many decisions on this that really subtract from the album such as the feature on twin hype back
Run the Jewels is a iconic duo, and this is what started it all. Run the Jewels is a duo consisting of Killer Mike and the legendary EI-P. Both Artists are very talented, but when they work together it’s a whole new experience.

Run The Jewels starts off with a nice title track. It’s a excellent way of starting of the album. It’s intense and fast paste grabbing your attention immediately. The chemistry with EI-P and Killer Mike is great it so smooth. One of my favorite parts ... read more
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Added on: June 22, 2013