When: Sat., Nov. 22, 5:15 p.m. 2014
The new Run the Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal) is the kind of powerful, instantly gratifying rap record that makes all the other music in your regular rotation feel irrelevant. The duo of dystopian Brooklyn MC-producer El-P and earnest Atlanta rapper Killer Mike proved themselves capable of greatness on their 2013 self-titled debut, which owes its appeal to much more than just their rap-game buddy-cop pairing. But I wasn’t prepared for just how great their follow-up would be, and I’m still not sure I’m done wrapping my head around the pointed, playful, wide-ranging postindustrial rap on Run the Jewels 2. I always seem to get stuck on one song—right now my ears are in the vise grip of the dronelike low-end hum and chattering, chipmunky vocal sample of “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry.” El-P and Killer Mike’s back-and-forth rapping, by turns loping, singsong, swarming, and aggressive, has enough character and color just as sound that it took me several listens to digest their lyrics—lines such as “You can all run naked backwards through a field of dicks” might have seemed silly in other hands, but with Run the Jewels silliness is part of the appeal. Their fierceness isn’t any less compelling just because they’re sometimes goofy and endearing. —Leor Galil Run the Jewels also plays at 9 PM.