Run The Jewels: Tiny Desk Concert Killer Mike and El-P continue to out-muse each other in a supergroup that somehow seems to get better, louder, and more pertinent since their start in 2013.

Tiny Desk

Run The Jewels

Like any good pair of twins, Run the Jewels have a freaky sort of unspoken fraternity. When El-P and Killer Mike strode in with their usual uniforms — Mike in a gold chain as thick as a garter snake, El in a fitted Yankees cap and pair of blue-mirrored sunglasses — the two didn't have to do as much as nod to one another before upending three tracks from their latest LP, RTJ3, in strange and perfect symbiosis.

El-P (née El-Producto, née Jaime Meline) — rapper, producer, and all-around godfather of the backpacker scene of the late-90's — and Killer Mike — known for guest features on tracks by Atlanta's Dungeon Family in the early-aughts, solo work in the mid-to-late '00s, and perhaps most widely for his very public support of Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign last year — have out-mused each other in a supergroup that somehow seems to get better, louder, and more pertinent since their start in 2013. They represent an ideal evolution of underground hip-hop to mainstream success, mixing a fundamentally activist animus with IMAX-level production without losing a speck of vital force.

On an unseasonably beautiful day in D.C., Run the Jewels was sweaty and sulfuric, ad-libbing with one another in an exchange so slick, easy, and conspiratorial, it felt like we were in on their shared language.

Run the Jewels 3 is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)

Set List

  • "Talk To Me"
  • "Legend Has It"
  • "A Report To The Shareholders"

Musicians

Killer Mike (vocals); EL-P (vocals); Trackstar the DJ (DJ)

Credits

Producers: Abby O'Neill, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael, Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

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