When: Fri., Aug. 9, 9 p.m. 2013
Run the Jewels is a new collaborative album between Killer Mike and El-P. Mike is a husky Atlanta rapper who has kicked around the majors, rapped on a Grammy-winning number and worked with Jay-Z and OutKast. Former Company Flow anchor, Definitive Jux proprietor and New York underground impresario El-P has trended away from those mainstream signifiers, using his and his friends' wide-eyed vision of what hip-hop might be to help test the limits of its definition.
Though they might seem like strange bedfellows, Killer Mike and El-P are in a dangerously good place together right now, creating one of music's most potent partnerships—and three of the best hip-hop records of the last year. They leaned on each other for their respective solo outings last year, but it's this year's Run the Jewels that finds them catapulting off one another, bruising industrial beats with a mix of Southern rap cliché flips, social browbeating and abstruse lyricism. Though they both sound like themselves, their union seems to make them go a bit harder, too, working to do more with less space. Run the Jewels isn't the masterpiece some have called it in a year of somewhat weak hip-hop albums, but it's a concise and aggressive platter that scrambles apparent geographical and subgenre divides. With Kool A.D. &mdash:Grayson Currin