Contrary to what is mostly believed about the genre of rap, the older you get the more refined your skills become. Turns out Hip-Hop is just like every other genre. Yes it, like all art forms, emerged from youth culture but true skill and artistry can only truly be attained through countless hours, days and years of dedication and work. Killer Mike and El-p both put their ten thousand hours in and more. These vets have been at it for close two decades each, and where most veterans fall off or lose touch the pure chemistry between El and Mike has sparked the beginning of some sort of creative reincarnation. Both emcee’s seem to really be restarting their careers, as if their first artistic life wasn’t fruitful enough, Jamie and Mike seem to have found the secret to reinventing yourself and reappearing fresh. The audience Run The Jewels reaches has more than likely surprised both emcees, not only are die hard fans of the Def Jux era El and the ‘Akshon’ era Mike still along for the ride the duo has picked up a whole new generation of supporters as well. The break through success of this sophomore LP has gone so far as to being the music in the unveiling of NBA star Steph Curry’s new sneaker in a commercial playing during Allstar weekend, and we commend the NBA, Under Armour, and any other associated generally responsible corporation for including the instrumental of a song in a prime time commercial which in it’s entirety includes the lyrics “when you niggas gon’unite and kill the police motherfuckers?”. Such anti-establishment themes are prevalent throughout the entire album which makes the success and acceptance of this record that much more sweet. As a duo Mike and El-p ‘compromise’, for lack of a better word because the content surely is not a step down for either, in a beautiful way managing to make digestible hardcore avant-garde Hip-Hop hit in an era where straight forward hardcore Hip-Hop is nonexistent in this form. The album starts off at a low tempo, and this tag-team slowly raises hell one track at a time leading up to the track “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)”, one of the hardest Hip-Hop records to come out in years, the track literally has guest artist Zach De La Rocha (of Rage Against The Machine)’s vocals weaved into the instrumental giving the listener no time to catch up to the mayhem this three heavy hitters are unleashing. Slowing down momentarily the album picks right back up with “Lie, Cheat, Steal” then dips back down for a detailed story of a day in a dystopian present with “Early” featuring BOOTS, a track with two strangers going about their days and the life changing events that follow. This is followed by possibly the second hardest Hip-Hop song to come out in years with “All Due Respect” which features Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker pummeling the percussion. The album is littered with punch lines, political statements, ‘Pulp Fiction’ references, and with the following track “Love Again”, pussy references. A throw back to the underground classic by Akinyele this track features Gangsta Boo and has Run The Jewels showing their soft side, or lack thereof. The album comes to a close with “Crown” and Angel Duster” both much needed mellow tracks in comparison to the majority of the album. All and all this project is a giant step ahead of Run The Jewels (1) and a good candidate for the best Hip-Hop album of 2014.